Philippines president condemns 'brutal and senseless' beheading of Canadian hostage

Robert Hall becomes the second Canadian hostage to be beheaded by Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf after ransom demands are not met

Gabriel Samuels
Tuesday 14 June 2016 18:35 BST
Canadian Robert Hall, left, was captured along with John Ridsdel, who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf in April
Canadian Robert Hall, left, was captured along with John Ridsdel, who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf in April (YouTube)

The beheading of a Canadian man by Islamist militants in the Philippines has sparked outrage, with the country’s president describing the murder as “brutal and senseless”.

Robert Hall was the second hostage from Canada in two months to be executed by militants from the Abu Sayyaf extremist group after the multi-million dollar ransom for his return expired.

Mr Hall had kidnapped in September last year alongside fellow countryman John Ridsdel and three others from the Philippines and Norway.

In a statement, Philippines President Benigno Aquino confirmed the killing, saying: "This latest heinous crime serves to strengthen our government's resolve to put an end to this reign of terror and banditry.

“We strongly condemn the brutal and senseless murder of Mr Robert Hall, a Canadian national, after being held captive by the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu for the past nine months.”

The militant group asked for 300 million Philippine pesos (£4.5 million) in ransom per hostage to be paid by 25 April. They began carrying out the executions, starting with Ridsdel, after no money was forth-coming.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau meanwhile wrote on Facebook: “The vicious and brutal actions of the hostage-takers have led to a needless death. Canada holds the terrorist group who took him hostage fully responsible for this cold-blooded and senseless murder.

“Canada will not give into their fear mongering tactics and despicable attitude toward the suffering of others.”

“Today marks yet another difficult day for Canada and for Canadians as we grieve as a nation for the loss of both John Ridsdel, who was killed on 25 April, and Robert Hall.”

The two Canadian men were taken hostage following a raid on the Oceanview Resort on southern Samal Island which Hall and his partner Flor were visiting on their yacht, according to CNN.

Several captives are still being held by Abu Sayyaf, including a Dutch birdwatcher taken while visiting the Philippines in 2012.

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