Islamist militants in the Philippines have killed Canadian hostage John Ridsdel in what Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned as an act of “cold-blooded murder”.
The Philippine army said a severed head was found on a remote island on Monday, just hours after a ransom deadline expired.
“I am outraged by the news that a Canadian citizen, John Ridsdel, held hostage in the Philippines since September 21, 2015, has been killed at the hands of his captors,” Trudeau said in a statement.
“Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage takers and this unnecessary death.”
Former mining executive Ridsdel, 68, was abducted while on holiday near the city of Davao in September 2015 and taken to the island of Jolo, a stronghold of the small but violent al Qaeda-linked group Abu Sayyaf, known for beheadings, bombings and extortion.
Kidnappers seized him, another Canadian, a Norwegian and a Filipino woman from a yacht at an upmarket resort – demanding millions of dollars for their release.