Manila: A Filipino construction worker kidnapped by militia men in Libya has been beheaded by his captors, becoming the first Filipino casualty in the renewed violence in the North African state, the Philippine government said.
Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said the Filipino worker was kidnapped on July 15. He was subsequently beheaded and his decomposed body was found today in a hospital in Benghazi, Libya`s second-largest city.
"The vehicle he was riding in was stopped in a checkpoint. There were three of them - a Libyan a Pakistani and a Filipino and he was allegedly singled out because he was non-Muslim," Jose said.
The kidnappers initially demanded a USD 160,000-dollar ransom from the worker`s employers. But the abductors called again on Sunday, pointing them to the Benghazi hospital.
Jose said it was possible the Filipino was already dead while the kidnappers were negotiating for ransom.
His family has requested that worker`s name not be released. Libya is experiencing its worst violence since Moammar Gadhafi`s regime was ousted in 2011.
Rival militias, largely made up of former rebels, have been fighting for control and sometimes engaged in targeted killings.
The Philippine government is currently enforcing the mass evacuation of around 13,000 Filipinos there due to the increasing violence and lawlessness, the closure of major airports, and the heightened threat to safety, particularly in Benghazi.
"We are calling for total evacuation," Jose added. The government has identified Egypt or Tunisia as exit routes for the Filipinos.