John Ridsdel was held since September 2015 had been kidnapped along with another Canadian, his Filipina girlfriend and a Norwegian. Ottawa condemns "a cold-blooded murder, for which responsibility falls on the head of those who did it". In the same area it the former PIME missionary Rolando Del Torchio was released a few days ago.
Manila (AsiaNews) - The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the "brutal cold-blooded murder" of his countryman, John Ridsdel, hostage of the Filipino Islamist group Abu Sayyaf since September 2015.
The man, a former executive of a mining company , was beheaded yesterday: the fundamentalists had demanded a ransom of 80 million dollars for him and three other hostages, including a Filipino woman.
Authorities have found the severed head of a foreign man on the island of Jolo. Ridsdel had been brought there after the kidnapping, which occurred in a tourist resort near the city of Davao. Also kidnapped with him were another Canadian, Robert Hall, together with his Philippine girlfriend Marites Flor, and the Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.
In a video sent by the kidnappers to the authorities in November 2015, Ridsdel sought help from his government and made it clear that he would be killed on April 25 if the ransom was not paid. The Canadian government has long had a "zero tolerance" policy towards abduction, and will not pay money to terrorists.
Canada, stated Prime Minister Trudeau, "Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage-takers, and this unnecessary death. This was an act of cold blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage". The deceased, according to Canadian media, was semi-retired and worked sometimes as a freelance journalist.
According to some sources, the group that kidnapped him could be the same that a few days ago released the former PIME missionary Rolando Del Torchio, which is part of some autonomous extremist groups. Among them, the most formidable is Abu Sayyaf - "sword-bearing" in Arabic – it is one of the bloodiest Islamist groups in the galaxy, who split from the Moro National Liberation Front in 1991 to pursue an even more aggressive fundamentalist politics . The stated purpose is to create an independent Islamic Caliphate in the southern Philippines from the rest of the nation, for the vast majority of Catholic faith.