• Body of beheaded Canadian hostage recovered in southern PH

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Troops dug up Saturday the body of a Canadian man who had been beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf in a shallow grave in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, the military said.

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    It said residents tipped off the military on the location of the grave in Kamuntayan village in Talipao town, where the headless body of Robert Hall was found. It was handed over to the police for further forensic examination.

    Hall had been kidnapped along with fellow Canadian John Ridsdel and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Maritess Flor from a resort on Samal Island, in Davao del Norte province, and brought to Sulu

    His head was recovered in Jolo town on June 13, the day the Abu Sayyaf decapitated him for failing to raise P300 million as ransom.

    Ridsdel was also beheaded after his family failed to pay a P300-million ransom to the Abu Sayyaf, which pledged allegiance with the Islamic State, while Flor had been released following a series of negotiations by former Sulu Vice Governor Sakur Tan on orders from then-incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.

    Military operations have continued against the Abu Sayyaf, which has also been holding seven Indonesian sailors it kidnapped recently off Tawi-Tawi province. The group is still holding Sekkingstad, a Dutch wildlife photographer, and a Japanese treasure hunter in Sulu. AL JACINTO

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