Philippines kidnap: Abu Sayyaf Islamists behead Vietnamese

Two Vietnamese men have been beheaded by Philippine Islamist group Abu Sayyaf, the country’s military said.

Video screengrab shows a number of jihadist groups pledging allegiance to the so-called Islamic State groupTheir bodies were found on Basilan island in the country’s south, a stronghold of the group.

The two victims were part of six Vietnamese sailors kidnapped by the militants last year.

The southern Philippines have seen a surge in Islamist militancy with recent fighting in the city of Marawi claiming more than 400 lives since May.

“Our troops found the headless bodies after local residents alerted us,” the Philippine military told the AFP news agency.

Three of the hostages are thought to still be held while one was freed last month.

Escalating violence

Abu Sayyaf is one of the smallest and most violent jihadist groups in the southern Philippines, known for its kidnap-for-ransom activity and its brutality, including beheadings.

It has pledged allegiance to so-called Islamic State and has carried out kidnappings of both foreigners and Filipinos…

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