பிலிப்பைன்ஸ்: முஸ்லீம் பயங்கரவாதிகளால் கிறிஸ்துவ விவசாயி தலை துண்டித்து கொலை
Kidnapped farmer beheaded by Filipino al-Qaeda militants after family fail to pay ransom
By Lizzie Smith
Last updated at 3:52 PM on 18th May 2009
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Militant group: Handcuffed members of the al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf following a previous killing
A Filipino farmer kidnapped by Muslim militants has been beheaded after his family failed to pay a ransom for his release.
Police in the Phillipines have recovered the severed head of farm owner Doroteo Gonzales, 61, who had been snatched by gunmen on April 25.
He was taken from his house in the southern Zamboanga city to the nearby Basilan Island, where al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf rebels are holding at least another five people following a surge of ransom kidnappings.
At least three gunmen believed to be involved in Gonzales' abduction have been arrested, regional military spokesman Captain Neil Estrella said.
Police found Gonzales' severed head in Basilan's Akbar town yesterday, said Chief Inspector Rolando Democrito.
The victim's family had failed to pay a ransom of 25 million pesos ($525,000) for his release, he added.
Regional police head Bensali Jabarani said: 'The Abu Sayyaf has been by far the most violent armed group. They resort to killing their hostages if the situation starts to drag.'
He said authorities had put up a reward of 500,000 pesos for information on the hostages.
Gonzales was the latest victim of the brutal Abu Sayyaf group, which is notorious for beheadings and bomb attacks - despite efforts by U.S.-backed Filipino troops to wipe them out.
This year, from hide-outs in the jungle, the militants embarked on a kidnapping spree to raise money.
They have taken hostage three Zamboanga teachers, a lending firm collector and a Sri Lankan peace activist on Basilan.
Different groups of gunmen stalk potential victims in urban areas, carry out the abduction, then hand over the victims to the mountain-based Abu Sayyaf militants, who keep the hostages and negotiate for a ransom, Estrella said, citing statements from captured kidnappers.
'It's emerging now that this is some sort of a criminal conspiracy,' Estrella said. 'Our campaign has focused on cutting these tentacles of the Abu Sayyaf.'
On nearby Jolo Island, Abu Sayyaf gunmen kidnapped three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross in January.
Two have been released but ailing Italian hostage Eugenio Vagni, 62, remains in captivity.
The government has ordered troops to rescue Vagni, leading to sporadic clashes with the militants.
The Abu Sayyaf, which has about 400 fighters, is believed to have received funds from al-Qaida and is on the U.S. list of terrorist organisations.