Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded a soldier they captured in the southern Philippine province of Sulu where security forces are battling the notorious group linked to the Islamic State, intelligence reports said.
Staff Sergeant Anni Siraji, of the 32nd Infantry Battalion, was seized near the village of Igasan in Patikul town early this month. His body was recovered on Sunday in the village called Taglibi, also in Patikul town, a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf.
Siraji, a former Moro National Liberation Front rebel, was part of an army unit working on peace and development projects in Sulu. He was travelling to the village of Igasan when seven armed militants seized him.
The military’s Western Mindanao Command did not release any information on Siraji’s brutal killing, but a local television news report quoted Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of an army task force in Sulu, as saying that Siraji’s decapitated head was recovered by soldiers. Thousands of former MNLF fighters had been integrated to the military and police forces following the signing of a peace deal with Manila in September 1996.