Hunt down the killers, CM tells Manila
Published on: Thursday, November 19, 2015
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Kota Kinabalu: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman called on the Philippines government and others in authority to step up its anti-terrorism fight and "wipe out" those responsible for killing Sarawakian Bernard Then. In a statement Wednesday, Musa denounced the reported beheading of the 39-year-old engineer who had been taken hostage by Abu Sayyaf gunmen from a Sandakan restaurant six months ago.

"I call on all relevant authorities including our counterparts in the Philippines to render their full cooperation and focus on all efforts to hunt down these perpetrators and wipe them out once and for all," he said.

He also expressed his sorrow and not being able to secure Then's release.

"I wish to offer our thoughts and heartfelt condolences to the family of Bernard Then. We tried our best to negotiate for his release but unfortunately it did not materialise" the Sabah Chief Minister said.

The 39-year-old electrical engineer was abducted on May 15 from the Ocean King Seafood Restaurant in Sandakan along with the restaurant manager Thien Nyuk Fun who was released by the gunmen on Nov 8. She is now in Sandakan.

Initial reports said Then was shot by the militants because he was slowing down their escape from a military advance due to his injuries.

However, it was later reported that he was likely to have been beheaded by the gunmen at about 4pm in their hideout in Jolo.

If this is true, then this makes Then the first Malaysian hostage kidnapped from Sabah's east coast to have been killed and beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf as well as the first Malaysian hostage to have lost his life while in captivity.

Brigadier-General Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu, confirmed that Then was decapitated.



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