Abu Sayyaf threatens to kill one of two hostages

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Manila, June 13 (IANS) Philippines-based extremist group Abu Sayyaf on Monday threatened to kill their Canadian or Norwegian hostage by the end of the deadline for the $6 million ransom payment demanded for each of them.

The rebels have said in several videos released in recent weeks that they will execute Canadian Robert Hall or Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad if they do not receive the ransom before 3.00 p.m., EFE news reported.

The two hostages were kidnapped from a hotel complex in the southern Philippines along with another Canadian, John Ridsdel, and Filipina Marites Flor.

Ridsdel was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf on April 25 after the first deadline for the ransom payment apsed.

The insurgents have not demanded any ransom for Flor so far.

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Both Hall and Sekkingstad have made appeals to the Philippine and Canadian governments for help in videos released in the last few months, in which they are seen with knives positioned on their necks.

“I appeal to my government and the Philippine government, as I have appealed before, for help,” said Hall in one of the videos.

However, both the Philippine and Canadian government have maintained they are not going to negotiate with the terrorists and strongly condemned the beheading of Ridsdel.

In addition to Hall and Sekkingstad, one Japanese national and one Dutch citizen are also currently being held hostage.

The terror group has released 14 Indonesian fishermen over the last few weeks after receiving a sum of $2 million.

Last week, the rebels also freed four Malaysian crew members of a tugboat, seized as they were returning to Malaysia after leaving Philippine waters, and for whom they had demanded a ransom of $4 million.

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