THE body of Canadian kidnap victim Robert Hall, beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) last month was dug up by government troops in a remote village in Talipao, Sulu on Saturday.
Major Filemon Tan, spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said that Hall’s decomposing body was dug up by troops from the Joint Task Group (JTG) in the province at about 11:35 am.
It said villagers tipped off the military on the location of the grave in Kamuntayan in Talipao town where the headless body of Hall was found.
The body was turned over to the police for further forensic examination.
Hall was kidnapped along with fellow Canadian John Ridsdel, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Maritess Flor on a resort in Samal Island in Davao del Norte in September last year and brought to Sulu.
His head was recovered in Jolo town on June 13 the day the Abu Sayyaf decapitated him after the P300 million ransom was not met.
The kidnappers have announced they will dump Hall’s head at the place where it was recovered by authorities.
Ridsdel was earlier beheaded after his family failed to pay P300 million ransom to the jihadists which pledged allegiance with the Islamic State.
Flor had been released following a series of negotiations led by former Sulu Vice Gov. Sakur Tan on orders from President Rodrigo Duterte.
Military operations were continuing against the Abu Sayyaf which is also holding seven Indonesian sailors they kidnapped recently off Tawi-Tawi province. The group is still holding Sekkingstad, a Dutch wildlife photographer and a Japanese treasure hunter in Sulu.
Meanwhile, security forces captured two suspected Abu Sayyaf militants during an operation in Basilan on Friday.
Policemen and soldiers tracked down Mudzri Adjalan and Yasir in their hideout in the village of Sungkayot in Ungkaya Pukan during an intensified operation against the jihadist group.
The arrested suspects were linked to ransom kidnappings and murder cases in Basilan and Zamboanga City.