Manila, March 11 (IANS) The Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf terrorist group threatened to kill four hostages within a month if an unspecified ransom amount is not paid to it, the media reported on Friday.
In the video posted on Facebook, the hostages appear on their knees before a group of heavily armed men, EFE news reported.
John Ridsdel and Robert Hall (Canadians), Kjartan Sekkingsta and Filipina Marites Flor who is Hall’s partner were kidnapped last September from a hotel complex in Samal Island.
“I am a Canadian citizen being held by the Abu Sayyaf Group for ransom, the amount is, I do not know what it is. But the Canadian government has got to get us out of here fast,” said Robert Hall in the video, the authenticity of which is yet to be confirmed by the authorities.
“Follow the negotiation, try to meet their demands within 30 days or we are all dead,” said the Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, adding it was their last message before execution.
One of the insurgent group’s members said the video was recorded last Tuesday, on March 8, and the families of the hostages and the authorities had until April 8 to pay the ransom amount.
Although the rebels did not specify a ransom amount in the video, last November they had asked for $63 million for the three Westerners, without mentioning the amount required to free the Filipina.
Abu Sayyaf, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, with 400 armed men, was formed in 1991 by a group of former fighters of the Afghan war against the Soviet Union.
Since then, the group has conducted the bloodiest attacks and numerous kidnappings in the Philippines.
Islamic separatist conflict in southern Philippines, over the last four decades, has left between 100,000 and 150,000 dead.