Zamboanga City, Philippines - Muslim militants killed one of two hostages they seized in a southern Philippine province last week, a regional marines spokesman said Monday. Captain Neil Torres said government troops recovered on Sunday the body of Cosme Aballes, one of two people seized last Friday by Abu Sayyaf rebels in the outskirts of Lamitan City in Basilan province, 900 kilometres south of Manila.
Torres said the head of the victim was nearly torn from his body when the government troops recovered him.
There was no report yet on the condition of the other hostage, Ernan Chavez, who was seized along with Aballes and six children who managed to escape and return to their homes during sporadic clashes with pursuing troops.
"There is no let-up in the operations to pursue the kidnappers," Torres said.
Aside from Chavez, Abu Sayyaf rebels in Basilan are still holding captive a Sri Lankan peace advocate, six public school teachers and an employee of a lending firm.
A separate group of Abu Sayyaf rebels are holding hostage two European Red Cross workers on the nearby island of Jolo. They freed a third Red Cross worker on April 2. (dpa)
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