Islamist militants behead Canadian hostage in Philippines. The man’s head was found on Monday dumped outside city hall on Jolo, a mountainous and jungle-clad island in the far south of the Philippines that is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf Islamist group. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Filipino authorities identified the victim as John Ridsdel, a retiree in his late 60s who was kidnapped seven months ago from aboard a yacht, along with another Canadian man, a Norwegian and a Filipina woman.
Six weeks after the abduction, gunmen released a video of their hostages held in a jungle setting, demanding the equivalent of $21m each for the safe release of the three foreigners. The men were forced to beg for their lives on camera, and similar videos posted over several months showed the hostages looking increasingly frail. In the most recent video, Ridsdel said his captors would kill him on April 25 if a ransom of $6.4m was not paid.
hat-tip Stephen Neil