By Worthy News Asia Service
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (Worthy News) -- Two men are dead and another remained missing Saturday, April 25, after some 40 Muslim militants raided the predominately Christian village of Sitio Arco in Basilan province in the southern Philippines, a Christian rights group said.
The Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), which supports Christians who are persecuted for their faith, said the incident happened on Good Friday April 10.
"Cosme Aballes, Ernan Chavez and six children were kidnapped during the raid. Another man, Jacinto Clemente, was shot and killed by the rebels," VOMC said.
The children were released later that day, according to VOMC investigators. "Aballes was barbarically beheaded and his body was found two days later in the nearby town of Lamitan."
VOMC quoted an unidentified military spokesman as saying that the rebels "will kill anybody they encounter and the intention they had was to disrupt Christian activities during the Lenten season when they went to Sitio Arco." In addition, the military said it was convinced the rebels had "their second motive was to extort" money from local leaders in the area," referring to Chavez, who was still missing Saturday, April 25, VOMC explained.
It was not immediately clear however which group was responsible for the attack.
VOMC said it had urged its supporters to "Pray for the family and friends grieving the death of those killed" and "for the safe release of Chavez." The group added it also hopes that authorities "will be able to effectively stop the militant organizations operating in the country."