Abu Sayyaf beheads Canadian hostage John Ridsdel

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(CNN Philippines) — Canadian John Ridsdel, one of four hostages kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) on Samal Island last September has been beheaded by the militant group.

An initial police report obtained by CNN Philippines said the severed head is believed to belong to Canadian hostage John Ridsdel, who was killed after no ransom was paid by the deadline set by the rebel group. The severed head was found in Jolo, Sulu on Monday night (April 25).

On Tuesday morning (April 26), officials confirmed that Ridsdel was executed. "We extend our sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government and to the family of Mr. John Ridsdel who died in the hands of the ASG bandit," the police and the military said in a joint statement.

The police report said two unidentified men aboard a motorcycle without a license plate threw the severed head somewhere along Marina Street, Barangay Walled City, Jolo at around 7:35 p.m.

"A civilian discovered it in a yellow sack near the municipal hall of Jolo," said Armed Forced of the Philippines Public Affairs Chief Col. Noel Detoyato.

Jolo Police Chief Supt. Junpikar Sitin immediately went to the site, cordoned off the area and, informed the Scene of the Crime Operation (SOCO) team, which confirmed the head belonged to Ridsdel.

Months in captivity

Ridsdel along with three others were kidnapped on Samal Island in September 2015.

The others kidnapped in Samal were Robert Hall, also Canadian; Kjartan Sekkingstad, a Norwegian; and a Filipina named Marithes "Tess" Flor.

The Abu Sayyaf Group initially asked for P1 billion for each of the four hostages, but lowered it to P300 million after moving the deadline from April 8 to April 25.

The three men appeared in a video that circulated in March, pleading to their governments to pay ransom within the one-month deadline set by their abductors – or the terrorists would kill them.

Related: Foreign captives held by Philippine militants appeal for help

President Benigno Aquino III earlier ordered the police and military to exert all effort to rescue the victims following the deadline of the Abu Sayyaf.

The government, however, maintained its no ransom policy.