In September 2015 four people including a Norwegian man were kidnapped from a resort in Philippines. The Islamist group Abu Sayyaf has recently confirmed they were behind the kidnapping, and on 13 October 2015 they published a photo of the hostages, who also include two Canadian men and a Filipino woman. They wrote a text along with the photo saying a video of the four would follow shortly. On 14 October 2015 Abu Sayyaf published a video of the four hostages.
The 56-year-old Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad was kidnapped together with three other people from the resort Holiday Oceanview Marina on Samal Island in 22 September 2015. Kjartan Sekkingstad worked at the exclusive resort, and the other hostages were guests.
Also known as a terrorist organization in Philippines, Abu Sayyaf, updated their Twitter profile with a picture of the four hostages on Tuesday 13 October 2015. Next day, 14 October 2015, they published a video of the hostages. In the video Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall beg the Canadian government to work with the Filipino government to bring a halt to military operations and to negotiate with their captors.
In the video masked men hold rifles to the heads of the four hostages. ISIS-style banners appear in the background.
Local authorities launched a major investigation and have made some arrests, but it remained unclear whether the kidnapping was a criminal attempt to obtain ransom, part of a terrorist attack or both.
Norway’s foreign ministry acknowledged it was aware of the photos but would not comment on them or say wheter any ransom demands had been made.
“We are working continually on this case,” spokesman Rune Bjåstad told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK. He added that the ministry has “ongoing dialogue” with authorities both in the Philippines and Canada.
“Our main focus is to work to ensure the hostages’ health and lives,” says Rune Bjåstad.
Sources: www.news.vice.com and www.newsinenglish.no