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Another Sailor Beheaded in Philippines?

Two months after Canadian cruiser John Ridsdel of the cat Aziza was beheaded in the Philippines by Abu Sayyaf jihadis, the same rebel group has now — apparently — executed his countryman, Robert Hall of Renova. Today was the group’s declared deadline for receiving Hall’s $16-million ransom. Ridsdel’s Filipina partner Teresita Flor and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad of the vessel Wiskun are still being held captive somewhere in the southern Philippines.

Canadian sailor Robert Hall (left), seen here in a video shot by Abu Sayyaf rebels, may have suffered the same fate as fellow captive John Ridsdel (center).


According to the Philippine Star, at least three sources claim that Hall was killed around 3:15 p.m. today, Philippine time, shortly after the ransom deadline passed. In a CNN interview, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said, "We cannot confirm nor deny that report unless we have formal reports coming in from the intel units on the ground." However, reports of Hall’s death were convincing enough that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed his nation about the incident. As a matter of policy, neither Canada nor the US pays ransom for hostages.

The kidnapping of Hall and the others took place September 22 at the upscale Ocean View Resort and marina on Samal Island, which lies off the southern Philippine island of Mindinao. It was reported at the time that at least 11 armed men descended on the marina at about 11:30 p.m., overpowered the guards, and attempted to grab whomever they could, evidently with no particular targets singled out in advance.

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