SINGAPORE - Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has condemned the killing of Malaysian kidnap hostage Bernard Then.
A ministry spokesman said: "We strongly condemn the killing of Mr Bernard Then by Abu Sayyaf. We extend our deepest condolences to the family of Mr Then. The perpetrators must be brought to justice. The international community must continue to work closely together in countering terrorism."
Mr Then was reportedly beheaded by militant group Abu Sayyaf after being held captive for more than six months.
The Star reported that a severed head believed to be that of Mr Then was found near a municipal council building on Jolo Island in the Philippines on Tuesday (Nov 17) evening. His head was discovered inside a sack with the words "Bernard Then Ted Fen".
According to The Star, his body was reportedly buried not far from the vicinity of Barangay Tanan in Indanan, where he was mostly held during his more than six months of captivity.
Authorities have taken the severed head away for a DNA analaysis.
The Star added that intelligence reports from Jolo indicated that Then was executed by the Abu Sayyaf faction, led by Idang Susukan in Indanan, following a week-long deadline given to meet the demand for higher ransom that was made during the release of Sabah restaurant owner Thien Nyuk Fun on Nov 9.