4 days after execution, Philippine military finally confirms brutal murder of Abu Sayyaf hostage
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Filipino security officials have confirmed Monday the brutal murder of a local fisherman kidnapped by the ISIS-affiliate Abu Sayyaf group in southern Philippines, four days after reports of the execution surfaced in the restive region.
The Western Mindanao Command said the Abu Sayyaf beheaded Noel Besconde who was among a group of 4 fishermen kidnapped in December last year off Sulu archipelago near Tawi-Tawi, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.
Various intelligence reports suggest that Besconde was killed after his family failed to pay ransom to the Abu Sayyaf. Other reports said the hostage was beheaded to avenge the recent killing of Abu Sayyaf leader Muamar Askali alias Abu Rami who died in a clash with security forces in Bohol province.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding about 2 dozen Asian sailors kidnapped off Basilan and Tawi-Tawi provinces. (Mindanao Examiner)