by: Agence France-Presse
Islamist militants within the Philippines have beheaded seven native loggers they kidnapped final week of their stronghold within the strife-torn south, police mentioned Monday.
The our bodies of the loggers have been discovered on Sunday in a mountainous village on the island of Basilan, native police chief John Cundo instructed AFP, blaming the killings on a faction of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group primarily based there.
The group of senior Abu Sayyaf chief Furuji Indama kidnapped and killed the loggers apparently over an area enterprise row relatively than for its typical ransom actions, Cundo mentioned.
“This was an act of revenge by Indama who may have blamed the destruction of his rubber plantation on these loggers. The kidnappers did not demand ransom but immediately beheaded the loggers,” Cundo mentioned.
The Abu Sayyaf is a unfastened community of militants fashioned within the 1990s with seed cash from Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda community.
One faction primarily based on Basilan has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, with members amongst militants who’ve been occupying components of Marawi, the largely Catholic nation’s most vital Islamic metropolis, since May.
The militants have withstood a US-backed navy offensive in Marawi that has claimed 650 lives and displaced practically 400,000 folks.
President Rodrigo Duterte has imposed martial regulation throughout the southern third of the Philippines, together with Basilan, to quell the militant risk.
The Abu Sayyaf, blamed for the worst terror assaults within the nation’s historical past, is thought to behead its hostages except ransom funds are made.
The militants beheaded two Canadian hostages final 12 months and a German captive in February after ransom calls for have been not met.
Abu Sayyaf militants are holding greater than 20 hostages, together with a number of foreigners, in Basilan and one other of their bases on the southern island of Sulu, in response to the navy.