World Asia 24 Jun 2016 Beheaded Canadian ho ...

Beheaded Canadian hostages' Filipino woman companion freed

AP
Published Jun 24, 2016, 12:38 pm IST
Updated Jun 24, 2016, 12:38 pm IST
Marites Flor was abandoned by the gunmen in front of the house of Sulu provincial Vice Governor Abdusakur Tan before dawn Friday.
Flor was abducted with two Canadians, John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad by the ransom-seeking militants from a resort on southern Samal island in September last year. Sekkingstad remains in captivity. (Photo: AFP)
 Flor was abducted with two Canadians, John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad by the ransom-seeking militants from a resort on southern Samal island in September last year. Sekkingstad remains in captivity. (Photo: AFP)

Manila, Philippines: Abu Sayyaf extremists on Friday freed a Filipino woman who was with two Canadian hostages beheaded by the militants in the southern Philippines after failing to get a huge ransom, officials said.

Marites Flor was abandoned by the gunmen in front of the house of Sulu provincial Vice Governor Abdusakur Tan before dawn Friday. She was later turned over to the military for medical checkup, said police Superintendent Junpikar Sitin.

 

Flor was abducted with two Canadians, John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad by the ransom-seeking militants from a resort on southern Samal island in September last year. Sekkingstad remains in captivity.

It was not immediately clear if a ransom was paid to secure the freedom of Flor, who appeared in Abu Sayyaf videos tearfully pleading for her life and those of her companions. In a final video, she called on President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to save their lives before the extremists killed Hall a few days later.

Rebels belonging to the larger Moro National Liberation Front helped negotiate with the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers led by a commander identified as Hatib Sawadjaan for Flor's release, two officials from the military and police, who monitored the talks, told The Associated Press.

 

They spoke on conditoin of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

Flor could provide insights into the moments before Ridsdel was beheaded by the militants in April, followed by Hall last week. She was flown to Davao city for a possible meeting with Duterte, Sitin said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the brutal killings and called on other nations not to pay ransom if their citizens are abducted to discourage the brutal militants from carrying more ransom kidnappings.

The beheadings prompted the Philippine military to further intensify a major offensive that is believed to have killed dozens of militants.

 

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