(From AFP)

Philippine President Benigno Aquino vowed Wednesday to launch a military assault aimed at “neutralizing” Islamic militants who beheaded a Canadian hostage and are holding more than 20 other foreigners.

Benigno Aquino
Benigno Aquino

“Casualties are to be expected. But what has to be of utmost importance is neutralizing the criminal activities of the ASG,” Aquino said in a statement, referring to the Abu Sayyaf militant group by a commonly used acronym.

Aquino released the statement after the severed head of Canadian John Ridsdel, kidnapped seven months ago from aboard a yacht, was dumped Monday on a street in Jolo, a remote southern island that is one of Abu Sayyaf’s main strongholds.

“This murder was meant to terrorize our whole population. The Abu Sayyaf thought they could instil fear in us. Instead, they have galvanized us even further to ensure justice is meted out,” Aquino said.

“We have always been open to talks with those who desire peace, but those who commit atrocities can expect the full might of the state.”

He did not give a time-frame for the assault. Read More

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