Abu Sayyaf demands $110 million ransom for Canadian hostages

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  • Robert Hall and John Ridsdel of Canada are again under threat of execution by their captors in the southern region of the Philippines in Mindanao.

    Hall, Ridsel, a Norwegian man, and a Filipino were taken hostage by gunmen from the Holiday Ocean View Samal Resort on Samal Island in the Philippines in September

    The gunmen belonging to the Abu Sayyaf group have threatened to execute the Canadians if ransom isn’t paid soon.

    The violent Islamist militant group wants $110 million in ransom to set Hall, 50, and Ridsdel, 68, free.

    In past months, the men have been seen in frightening videos pleading for their lives, machetes at their throats.

    “I’m a Canadian citizen. I’m being held hostage by Abu Sayyaf for 1 billion pesos,” Hall said in a video released in March.

    Hall said: “These people are serious and very treacherous. Take them seriously. Help us. Get us out of here.”

    Ridsdel served as chief operating officer of TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of TVI Pacific, between 2008 and 2011.

    He lives in Puerto Galera, Philippines, according to his Facebook page.

    The foreign affairs department in Ottawa had said Canadian officials have been in contact with Filipino authorities.

    Army and police units are on alert on Jolo where security forces are pursuing al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf, a group known for kidnapping, beheading, bombing and extortion in the southern Philippines.

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