2 Vietnamese hostages of Abu Sayyaf
found beheaded in Basilan — military


Two decapitated bodies were found by authorities in a village in Basilan early Wednesday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

They have been identified as Hoang Thong and Hoang Va Hai, both Vietnamese, and among the crew members of the MV Royal16 cargo vessel who were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Groyup (ASG).

The Vietnamese crew were forcibly taken by the local terrorist group of Abu Sayyaf last November 2016 on the waters southeast of Sibago Island in Basilan.

The AFP said the bodies were found at 5:40 a.m. in Barangay Tumahubong in Sumisip.

Col. Juvymax Uy, commander of the AFP’s Joint Task Force Basilan, said that the bodies would undergo forensic examination. He said this will be performed in coordination with Vietnamese embassy in Manila.

In June, the same task force rescued a Vietnamese identified as Hoang Vo, 28 in the vicinity of Sumisip.

The other crewmembers who were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf, along with the three, were Pham Minh Tuan, Do Trung Hieu, and Tran Khac Dung.

Aside from the six Vietnamese, the military said at least 20 Indonesians and Malaysians were still in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf.

They are now the subject of rescue operations by troops currently based in Basilan. DEMPSEY REYES



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