The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and Embassy of Vietnam in the Philippines have asked Philippine authorities to verify press reports that say two Vietnamese sailors were beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, said MoFA spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang.
Hang made the statement yesterday while answering reporters’ queries about the reported killings.
MoFA spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang
“Regarding press reports about the killing of two Vietnamese sailors by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy of Vietnam in the Philippines have requested Philippine authorities to verify such information and provide necessary assistance at the earliest,” she said.
“Vietnam strongly condemns all barbarous, inhuman kidnapping and assassination acts. Such actions must be punished properly,” Hang added.
Philippine troops found the remains of the two hostages early on Wednesday morning on the island of Basilan, a stronghold of the notorious Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group, AFP quoted military spokesperson Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay as saying.
The two Vietnamese were seized last November along with four other Vietnamese crew members of a vessel that was boarded by the militants off the southern region of Mindanao, the military said.
Abu Sayyaf militants are holding a total of 22 hostages, including 16 foreigners, according to Petinglay.The Abu Sayyaf is known to behead its hostages unless ransom payments are made.
German national Jurgen Kantner, 70, was beheaded in February after the kidnappers' demand for 30 million pesos ($600 000) was not met.Last year, the group beheaded two Canadian hostages.