A 62-YEAR-OLD retired Filipino soldier has been beheaded by pro-Islamic State militant group Abu Sayyaf in Basilan, an island province of the Muslim-majority Mindanao.
A local radio station reported Julio Pasawa – a former officer in the Philippine Army and Islamic convert abducted from his village in Maluso town on Monday – was found burnt and beheaded on Tuesday morning.
On Monday, nine people including a 13-year-old were killed and a number of houses were burnt down by Abu Sayyaf bandits who attacked the village in Maluso.
It was the second time the village has been attacked by the group since 2010.
More than 20 people, including 14 foreigners, are being held by Abu Sayyaf on two islands in the southern Philippines, some of them for as long as three years.
Philippines troops raided an Islamist militants’ camp on a remote island and rescued a Vietnamese sailor held captive for nine months, a navy spokeswoman said on Monday.
Do Trung Huige, 33, was left behind when troops attacked an Abu Sayyaf camp on Mataja island on Saturday, Western Mindanao naval forces spokesman Jesca May Viduya said.
Two Vietnamese sailors are still being held – two beheaded and another was rescued. On nearby Jolo island, two Vietnamese sailors were among 19 captives still being held in a separate abduction.
The Abu Sayyaf group is notorious for bombings, beheadings, extortion and kidnap-for-ransom in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic country.
One of its leaders, Isnilon Hapilon, has been blamed for planning the occupation of a mainly Muslim city in the south.
More than 700 people have been killed and 400,000 displaced in the three-month battle to retake Marawi City, which has yet to end.
Additional reporting by Reuters