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Abu Sayyaf threatens to behead three more hostages

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Manila: Extremist group Abu Sayyaf released a new video on Wednesday threatening to kill three more hostages, who were kidnapped along with John Ridsdel, who was beheaded on April 25 in southern Philippines.

In images circulated on several websites and which feature the hostages — Canadian Robert Hall and his partner, Filipina Marites Flor, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad — and one Abu Sayyaf member addressing authorities, EFE news reported.

“The lesson is clear. John Ridsdel has been beheaded. Now there are three remaining captives here. If you procrastinate once again on the negotiations, we will behead this all anytime,” said the masked rebel in English.

Meanwhile, the three hostages, who were abducted by the group along with Ridsdel on September 21, 2015, in Samal island, also made pleas to Canada and Philippines.

“I’m appealing to the Canadian government, the Filipino government, friends, family, anybody who can possibly help us, that if the demand is not met we will be executed like our friend John was a few days ago,” Sekkingstad said.

Abu Sayyaf had demanded ransom of around $6.4 million for each of the three Western hostages before April 25 and a few hours after the expiry of the deadline, the group beheaded Ridsdel and left his severed head in a bag in Jolo town in Sulu province, where the hostages are believed to have been held.

In the video, Robert Hall also urged the Philippine security forces, which launched an offensive against Abu Sayyaf after Ridsdel’s killing, to stop shooting for fear they might be killed in the attacks.

“To the Canadian government, I’m told to tell you to meet the demand. I don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re not doing anything for us. John has been sacrificed, his family has been decimated, and I’m not sure why or what you’re waiting for,” he adds.

Speaking for the first time, the Filipina, Marita Flores asks Philippine President Benigno Aquino and several other presidential candidates and renowned personalities, including the boxer Manny Pacquiao, to help them.

Abu Sayyaf frequently carries out kidnappings and demand ransoms to finance its activities, and is currently holding hostage, besides Hall and Sekkingstad, nine other foreigners, including four Indonesian fishermen, four Malaysians and the Dutch Ewold Hurn.

Another ten Indonesian fishermen were released on Sunday, after the maritime company for which they work paid an amount of $1 million.

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