Abu Sayyaf militants behead hostage in south Philippines

Armed Forces of the Philippines Deputy Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. John Bonafos, left, hands over to an informant bundles of money as a reward for proving vital information leading to the capture of Abu Sayyaf leader Basal Talb Sali and two others. (File photo: AP)

Abu Sayyaf extremists beheaded a kidnapped village leader and threatened to kill two other hostages in the southern Philippines if a ransom was not paid, officials said Wednesday.

Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado said the militants identified the slain hostage as Rodolfo Buligao in a note they left on his decapitated body, which was found on a roadside in Maimbung town in Sulu province late Tuesday.

The militants led by Abu Sayyaf commander Yassir Igasan, who killed Buligao, have threatened to behead two coast guard personnel who were kidnapped with Buligao in May.

“They have threatened to kill the two other captives anytime,” Arrojado said.

The Abu Sayyaf, with about 400 gunmen split into a few factions, is on a U.S. list of terrorist organizations for deadly bombings, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings.

It is one of at least four small armed groups outside of a peace deal the government signed last year with the largest rebel group, the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in an attempt to peacefully settle a decades-long separatist insurrection by minority Muslims in the south of the large Roman Catholic country.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48