Ex-village chief beheaded in southern Philippines

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Police are looking into reports the victim was captured by the Abu Sayyaf.

Zamboanga City (CNN Philippines, October 23) — A former village captain was found beheaded by suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf in an island province south of here, police said Monday.

Basilan Provincial Police Commander Senior Superintendent Nickson Muksan said the headless body found in the town of Sumisip in Basilan early Sunday was that of Hadji Najir Bohong. Bohong, 58, was a farmer and a former barangay captain of Barangay Mahatalang.

Bohong went to a farm with his carabao on Saturday to gather timber for his house, reports said.

Police are looking into reports he was captured by the Abu Sayyaf Group led by Abu Dujanah.

Muksan said Bohong's body was recovered by his relatives in the vicinity of Sitio Punu, and buried in Barangay Tumahubong.

The Abu Sayyaf Group are bandits engaged in kidnap-for-ransom since the 90s in the southern island provinces of Basilan and Sulu. One of its leaders, Isnilon Hapilon, joined the ISIS-linked Maute group and was killed on October 16 during fighting with government troops liberating Marawi City.