The First Malaysian Hostage to Have been Beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf - The Coverage
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The First Malaysian Hostage to Have been Beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf

Sarawakian Bernard Then, held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf terror group, has been killed in the southern Philippines.

 

Malaysian killed terrorist

Bernard Then

-He was beheaded by the gunmen at about 4p.m. in the island of Jolo

-Head believed to be that of Malaysian hostage Bernard Then found in sack on Philippine island

-The body of Bernard Then, who was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf terror group , was reportedly buried not far from the vicinity of Barangay Tanan in Indanan, where he was mostly held during his more than six months of captivity.

– A severed head believed to be that of Malaysian hostage Bernard Then was found near a municipal council building in Jolo island on Tuesday evening, according to southern Philippines police officials. 

-According to Jolo-based social workers, the Abu Sayyaf plan to release a video of the alleged beheading soon

It has been confirmed that, Bernard Then, a Sarawakian who was held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, has been killed in the southern Philippines.

He was beheaded by the militants at roughly about 4pm in the island of Jolo.

He is the first Malaysian hostage to have been beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf.

Brigadier-General Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu, said Mr Bernard Then, 39, an engineer, was beheaded at around 4pm at a remote Abu Sayyaf stronghold in Jolo island, in Sulu province, some 1,400km south of the capital Manila.

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He said Mr Then’s family “failed to comply” with the militants’ demand “during their negotiation that prompted them to execute their plan”.

It has been confirmed that, Bernard Then, a Sarawakian who was held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, has been killed in the southern Philippines.

He was beheaded by the militants at roughly about 4pm in the island of Jolo.

He is the first Malaysian hostage to have been beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf.

Brigadier-General Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu, said Mr Bernard Then, 39, an engineer, was beheaded at around 4pm at a remote Abu Sayyaf stronghold in Jolo island, in Sulu province, some 1,400km south of the capital Manila.

He said Mr Then’s family “failed to comply” with the militants’ demand “during their negotiation that prompted them to execute their threats”.

Sources from Philippine’s military and social workers confirm that the 39-year-old electrical engineer was killed by the Abu Sayyaf militants who were being pursued by Philippine military in the proximity of the Butaran Hill around Indanan village in Jolo Island.

Sources confirmed the news of the beheading but were unable to identify which member of the terror group was responsible for the order and who actually carried out the inhumane act.

The group holding Then was led by Indang Susukan.

Bernard Then,  was grabbed along with restaurant manager Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, from Ocean King Seafood Restaurant in Sandakan on May 15 2015.

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Susukan’s group which also included Abu Sayyaf sub commanders Alden Bagade, Angah Adji, and Ahabsy Misaya had insisted a full ransom payment of 60 million pesos for the 2 hostages instead of 30 million pesos which was purportedly paid for release of Thien.

However , Police denied that a RM7.8 million ransom was paid to secure the release of Thien Nyuk Fun from her Filipino abductors.Sabah police commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman yesterday said a report on the ransom payment was just rumours.

Ms Thien who was freed on 8 November after spending almost 6 months in captivity and is now back in Sandakan.The Straits Times claimed Thien was freed in exchange for a 30 million pesos (RM7.85 million) ransom.

 

According to Borneo Post ,

On July 3, Bernard’s wife, Chan Wai See, disclosed that they were last in contact with their abducted family members in June, at which point the police had taken over the handling of the case.

On August 5, Jalaluddin announced that the kidnappers had initially demanded a RM60 million ransom – RM30 million for each victim, but then had the amount halved after several rounds of negotiation. He also reiterated that police would not entertain such demand, despite the negotiations, but would do all they could to secure the release of the victims.

On August 24, news that Bernard may be next in line to be beheaded surfaced. His wife said that Bernard had told her of this fear, after the terrorist group had killed a Filipino village official who was held hostage by militants since May. Thien’s and Bernard’s kidnapping is only one of a long list of similar incidents that had taken place in the east coast of Sabah since late 2013.

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The family of Malaysian hostage Bernard Then, who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf gunmen, hopes that his remains will be returned as soon as possible.

We hope the governments of Malaysia and the Philippines will expedite the search and bring back his body.For the last 188 days we lived with hopes, yet hopelessness. With this dreaded news, we continue to pray for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.”

Then’s brother, Christopher, said in a statement on Wednesday.

We pray that the family of Bernard Then will be able to brave this time of trouble and we sincerely hope that the members of the terror group, Abu Sayyaf, will soon be caught and brought into the attention of the law.

The world has no place for such inhumane people.

Sources : The Star , Borneo Post , The Strait Times

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