Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister yesterday condemned the killing of a Canadian hostage by the Abu Sayyaf armed group in the Philippines, calling it “an act of cold-blooded murder”.
Trudeau made the remarks after the severed head of 68-year-old John Ridsdel was found dumped in a plastic bag on a remote island. Ridsdel’s remains were found five hours after the expiry of a ransom deadline set by the group, who had threatened to execute one of four captives, according to the army.
Ridsdel, 68, a former mining executive was snatched by Abu Sayyaf along with three other people in September 2015 while on holiday.
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Trudeau maintained that, “Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage-takers and this unnecessary death. This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage”. He also said, “The government of Canada is committed to working with the government of the Philippines and international partners to pursue those responsible for this heinous act”.
Trudeau did not respond when asked whether the Canadian government had tried to negotiate with the captors or pay a ransom, or whether it was trying to secure the release of another Canadian, Robert Hall being held.