Abu Sayyaf: We are going to behead Norwegian hostage

Hostages Canadian national Robert Hall (right) and Norwegian national Kjartan Sekkingstad (left) are seen in this undated picture released to local media, in Jolo island in southern Philippines.
PHOTO: Reuters

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Abu Sayyaf group in southern Philippines has threatened to behead a Norweigan hostage within the day unless their US$6.37 million ransom demand is met.

The Abu Sayyaf, an Islamist militant group based in Southern Philippines, has announced that it will be beheading its hostage, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, anytime Monday if the Philippine presidential peace addviser insists on the non-payment of ransom.

"There is no more ultimatum, we are going to behead this Norwegian anytime today," said an Abu Sayyaf spokesperson, who called a couple of journalists here Sunday night.

Rami said the beheading will be done following reports of the peace adviser's pronouncement of government's no-ransom policy.

The Abu Sayyaf has been demanding 300 million pesos (US$6.37 million) in exchange for Sekkingstad's freedom.

The Abu Sayyaf spokesman, Abu Rami, said they were aware that ransom was already set for delivery, and they were just waiting for someone to deliver the money.

Sekkingstad is one of four victims who were taken from a marina in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte province in the southern Philippines, November last year.

Rami's announcement came two days after the body of beheaded Abu Sayyaf kidnap victim, Canadian Robert Hall, was found in Sulu province, on Saturday morning.

Hall was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf on June 13 after the bandit group failed to receive the ransom money they had demanded. His head was found on the same day in a cathedral in Jolo City, the capital of Sulu province.

Hall was the second kidnap victim the bandits had decapitated after fellow Canadian John Ridsdel, who was killed in April. Filipino Marites Flor was freed on June 24.

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