06/13/2016, 17.59
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Abu Sayyaf kills Canadian hostage

Robert Hall was killed because his country did not pay the ransom demanded by the Islamic terrorist group. A Filipino woman and a Norwegian man are left in the latter’s hands. Manila announces military operations against the extremist Muslim stronghold.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The Abu Sayyaf Islamic terror group has killed Robert Hall, a Canadian they abducted in September 2015, after no ransom was paid.

Mr Hall was killed on Monday after a deadline for a ransom expired, security sources told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Filipino news website Rappler.

Meanwhile, the Philippines have launched military operations against the militant group, whose stronghold is the south of the country.

Mr Hall, his Filipina partner Marites Flor, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and fellow Canadian John Ridsdel were kidnapped from a marina near the city of Davao last September.

They were taken to an Abu Sayyaf stronghold on the remote island of Jolo, and Mr Ridsdel was killed on 25 April.

Abu Sayyaf is small but makes up for it as the most dangerous and violent Islamist groups fighting for the secession of southern Philippines.

It is very active in the provinces of Basilan and Sulu (whose capital is Jolo).

Kidnapping for ransom is their largest source of income, which is why the Philippines and Canada are opposed to paying ransoms for hostages.

"In Zamboanga (which is near Basilan), Abu Sayyaf is increasingly present,” a Catholic source, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews.

“As long as the army is present, its members melt away into the background, living among family and friends. Everyone knows it. This has become their modus vivendi.”

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