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Body found in southern Philippines likely that of executed Canadian

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Body found in southern Philippines likely that of executed Canadian hostage Robert Hall, authorities say

By Shirley Escalante in Manila

Posted Sun at 8:41am

Philippines authorities have found a body believed to be that of the second Canadian hostage beheaded by Islamist separatist group Abu Sayyaf on the southern Sulu island.

Key points:
  • Hall was reportedly killed after a ransom deadline lapsed on Monday
  • The fate of a Norwegian hostage held by Abu Sayyaf remains unknown
  • Abu Sayyaf demands talks with President Rodrigo Duterte's team

Military spokesman Major Filemon Tan said the body had Caucasian features and was likely that of Robert Hall, the Canadian killed by Abu Sayyaf after a deadline passed for a ransom payment of more than $8 million.

Mr Hall's severed head was found on Sulu Island near a cathedral on June 13.

Philippines media reported military authorities were given information by locals that led them to a site on Sulu where the body was buried.

The body will be brought to a military camp in the capital Manila to undergo DNA testing.

Mr Hall was kidnapped along with another Canadian man, a Filipina and a Norwegian man, from a resort on the southern island Samal in September, 2015.

Fellow Canadian John Ridsdel was beheaded by the militant group in April.

Major Filemon Tan said rescue operations continued for Norwegian man, Kjartan Sikkengstad, the last hostage in that group of Abu Sayyaf captives.

"We are conducting intensified focused military operations," he said.

The Filipina hostage, Marites Flor, was freed on June 24.

Abu Sayyaf has been fighting for an independent state in the southern Philippines and said it was willing to open dialogue with the Government of new President Rodrigo Duterte.



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