Philippine rebels behead abductees

Abu Sayyaf group sent the heads of the seven to the army, officials say.

    The beheadings may have been in retaliation for the killing of 70 Abu Sayyaf members [Reuters]
    Soldiers had earlier discovered the headless bodies of six men close to Parang town.
     
    Rafael said the beheadings may have been in response to the deaths of more than 70 Abu Sayyaf members, including two leaders, in an eight-month military offensive backed by US troops and equipment.
     
    "This is a retaliation for the killing of one of their commanders," he said.
     
    Ransom refused 
     
    He said the company which employed the road workers had refused to pay a ransom.
     
    The Abu Sayyaf, which is on a US list of terrorist groups, has been the target of a massive US-backed military offensive on Jolo that started in August and has killed its top two leaders.
     
    The group gained international notoriety about five years ago when they captured and beheaded tourists and church workers, and its members still kidnap people for ransom to raise funds.
     
    Loong has said that the kidnappings showed the Abu Sayyaf remains capable of banditry and terrorist acts despite a number of battlefield losses.
     
    He said it was unclear whether the kidnappings were intended to divert troops who are hunting for rebel commander Habier Malik and his men from the Muslim Moro National Liberation Front.
     
    Malik was blamed for deadly mortar attacks in Jolo last week.
     
    An estimated 300 to 400 Abu Sayyaf fighters remain at large on Jolo, about 950km south of Manila.
     
    The US has offered large rewards for the capture of Abu Sayyaf commanders.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.