World

Robert Hall, Canadian hostage, killed by Abu Sayyaf militants in Philippines

A Canadian man being held hostage for months by a militant group in the Philippines has been killed, that country's political administration confirmed early Tuesday.

Calgary man is 2nd Canadian killed in 2 months by al-Qaeda-linked group amid ransom demands

Robert Hall was one of four hostages taken last fall from a seaside resort in the Philippines by the militant group Abu Sayyaf. (Site Intelligence Group/YouTube)

A Canadian man being held hostage for months by a militant group in the Philippines has been killed, that country's political administration confirmed early Tuesday.

Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf had warned it would kill Robert Hall by a June 13 deadline if it didn't receive a ransom of some $8 million. 

Sources close to the situation in Jolo, the island where the al-Qaeda-linked group is based, and within Philippine security confirmed Hall's death Monday to CBC News. 

Philippines President Benigno Aquino, who will leave office at the end of the month, released a statement Tuesday to that effect.

"We strongly condemn the brutal and senseless murder of Mr. Robert Hall, a Canadian national, after being held captive by the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu for the past nine months," Aquino said.

Abducted from resort

Hall, from Calgary, had been held since Sept. 21, 2015, along with former mining executive and fellow Canadian John Ridsdel, who was killed by the group in late April. Ridsdel and Hall were abducted from a seaside resort along with a Filipino woman and a Norwegian man.

The condition of the remaining hostages is not known.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last month urged fellow G7 leaders to refuse to pay ransom for hostages. He said at the time that the Canadian flag should not be "a target when worn on a backpack around the world."

As officials work to confirm Hall's death, Trudeau on Monday offered his condolences while condemning the "cold-blooded and senseless murder." 

"With the tragic loss of two Canadians, I want to reiterate that terrorist hostage-takings only fuel more violence and instability. Canada will not give into their fear-mongering tactics and despicable attitude toward the suffering of others," Trudeau said in a statement. 

"This is precisely why the government of Canada will not and cannot pay ransoms for hostages to terrorists groups."

Canada did not negotiate with the group, but lent assistance to the Philippine military, which has carried out operations against the group in recent weeks, according to CBC News correspondent Sasa Petricic.

"We are told by the Philippine military that, in fact, it had at least a couple of the Canadian military who were assisting — not on the ground, not on the front lines — but assisting as consultants with the Philippine government," Petricic said from Manila.

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