Seven men kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf found dead: police

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All seven were kidnapped days ago by an Abu Sayyaf group, and found beheaded, officials said.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 31) — Seven men who were allegedly kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf bandits were found dead, police in the southern island province of Basilan said Sunday.

The bodies of all seven men, all beheaded, were found on Saturday in Lantawan, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Insp. John Cundo of the town of Maluso in Basilan told CNN Philippines.

Nestor Divinagracia, 50, and his son, Ily, 25, were kidnapped in Maluso, Cundo said.

Five others, Renato Casiple Jr., 36, Mamerto Falcasantos, 55; Roberto Lacastesantos, 48;  Hernando Sally, 53; and Rene Sanson, 28, were abducted from Lantawan, he added. Lantawan is nine kilometers from Maluso.

The seven men were kidnapped in two separate incidents on July 20, police said.

The Divinagracias were kidnapped by two bandits named Pasil Bayali and Otoh Dobol, who are members of an Abu Sayyaf faction headed by Furuji Indama, Cundo added.

Captain Exekiel D. Panti, commanding officer of the 14th Special Forces Battalion reported finding the bodies of the father and son in a badly decomposed state and were identified through their clothes by the family, the police official said.

The five others were recovered by the military's 15th Special Forces Battalion and their bodies turned over to relatives, he said.

The Abu Sayyaf have turned to kidnapping for ransom in Basilan, and government troops are stepping up efforts in a renewed campaign ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this year to rid Mindanao of bandits and terror groups plaguing the south for decades.

CNN Philippines' David Santos, Chad de Guzman, and Pia Garcia contributed to this report.