Abu Sayyaf terrorists have beheaded seven kidnap victims on the island of Basilan, police revealed today (Monday, July 31).
The men, all loggers, were abducted last week after being accused of destroying a rubber plantation belonging to a leader of the militants.
Local police chief John Cundo said followers of Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama abducted and killed the loggers over a business dispute rather than to demand ransom.
“This was an act of revenge by Indama who may have blamed the destruction of his rubber plantation on these loggers. The kidnappers did not demand ransom but immediately beheaded the loggers,” he said.
The decapitated bodies of the victims, who were abducted on July 20, were found in the town of Lantawan yesterday.
Abu Sayyaf is one of the most active militant groups in the southern Philippines and has pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (IS).
Earlier this month, two Vietnamese hostages were beheaded, while another Vietnamese captive was killed during a clash between his captors and government troops on July 13.
Abu Sayyaf militants continue to hold more than 20 hostages, including 14 foreigners, in Basilan and another of their strongholds on the island of Sulu.
One of the Abu Sayyaf’s leaders, Isnilon Hapilon, has been identified as the leader of IS militants currently fighting government troops in Marawi City. He has been named as the regional representative, or emir, of IS in Southeast Asia and has a five-billion dollar FBI bounty on his head.