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Abu Sayyaf beheads two Vietnamese hostages in Basilan

The Abu Sayyaf has beheaded two of its Vietnamese captives in Basilan and holds three more even as military operations continue to locate the bandit group and their hostages.

The decapitated bodies of the two, identified as Hoang Thong and Hoang Va Hai, were recovered on Wednesday in Barangay Tumahubong in Sumisip town by a resident, according to Col. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan.

"The bodies were found at 5:40 in the morning by a member of the local populace," Uy said. "The cadavers will be made to undergo forensic exams as coordination with the Vietnamese embassy is also simultaneously done."


The two were among the six Vietnamese crew members of MV Royal 16 that was attacked on November 11 last year off Sibago Island in Basilan.

One of the hostages, 28-year-old Hoang Vo, was rescued by the military in Sampinit Complex, also in Sumisip, last month.

Those still being held by the Abu Sayyaf were identified as Pham Minh Tuan, Do Trung Hieu and Tran Khac Dung.

"[The] three other KVs (kidnap victims) are subject of the intensive ongoing rescue operations conducted by the troops of Basilan," said Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay of the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command.

Lt. Gen. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said since January 1, 2017, 83 Abu Sayyaf members were killed in the all-out military campaign against terrorism in Western Mindanao. Of this number, 14 were killed in Basilan, 62 in Sulu, and seven in Tawi-Tawi. —KBK, GMA News