Security forces confirm beheading of Canadian hostage

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Military and police authorities confirmed Tuesday that Canadian John Ridsel, one of the four hostages taken by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits on Sept. 21, 2015 in Samal, Davao Del Norte, was beheaded by his captors.

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“We extend our sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government and to the family of Mr. John Ridsdel who died in the hands of the ASG bandits,” the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police said in a joint statement forwarded by AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla.

The rebels earlier demanded a P1 billion ransom from the families of each of the three foreign captives and threatened to kill them if ransom is not paid.

The ASG earlier set an April 8 deadline for the payment of ransom but this was moved to April 25.

The rebel group is still holding Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingtad and Filipina Marites Flor, Hall’s girlfriend.

Padilla said security forces will continue to pursue the bandits.

“There will be no let up in the determined efforts of the joint AFP-PNP task group’s intensive military and law enforcement operations to neutralize these lawless elements and thwart further threats to peace and security. The full force of the law will be used to bring these criminals to justice,” he said.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd earlier directed acting AFP chief Glorioso Miranda and PNP head Ricardo Marquez to rescue of the hostages. PNA

PNA/CC

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