Asia

Malaysian man held by militants in Philippines killed

A Malaysian man who was being held by Islamist militants in the Philippines has been killed, officials said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Facebook he was "sickened" by the perpetrators of the "savage and barbaric act".

The Philippine military said it was working to verify reports that Bernard Then had been beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf group.

Bernard Then and a woman were abducted in May in the Malaysian state of Sabah.

They were then taken to Jolo island in the southern Philippines.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak delivers a statement in Kuala Lumpur on August 6, 2015. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Prime Minister Najib Razak is in the Philippines for the Apec summit

The woman was released last week after negotiations between the abductors and authorities. Negotiations had been continuing for Mr Then's release.

The militant group, Abu Sayyaf, has been blamed for some of the worst bomb attacks, kidnappings and beheadings in the Philippines.

"I, the government, and all Malaysians are shocked and sickened by the murder of our countryman Bernard Then and we condemn it in its strongest terms," said Mr Najib, who is in the Philippines capital, Manila, for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.

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A Malaysian man who was being held by Islamist militants in the Philippines has been killed, officials said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Facebook he was "sickened" by the perpetrators of this "savage and barbaric act".

The Philippine military said it was working to verify reports that Bernard Then had been beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf group.

Bernard Then and a woman were abducted in May in the Malaysian state of Sabah.

They were then taken to Jolo island in the southern Philippines.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Prime Minister Najib Razak is in the Philippines for the Apec summit

The woman was released last week after negotiations between the abductors and authorities. Negotiations had been continuing for Mr Then's release.

The militant group, Abu Sayyaf, has been blamed for some of the worst bomb attacks and kidnappings in the Philippines. The group usually seeks a ransom for freeing hostages.

"I, the government, and all Malaysians are shocked and sickened by the murder of our countryman Bernard Then and we condemn it in its strongest terms," said Mr Najib, who is in the Philippines capital, Manila, for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.

Abu Sayyaf still holds a number of hostages, including foreigners.

In September, gunmen kidnapped two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipino from a beach resort in the southern Philippines.

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