Militants Threaten to Behead Red Cross Hostage

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A Philippine official says
al-Qaida-linked militants have threatened to behead one of three
Red Cross hostages in one week unless government troops pull back
from the guerrillas' southern jungle stronghold.

The official says Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad made the
threat when they spoke by cell phone Monday.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of
anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres has rejected the
demand.

He said Wednesday the Abu Sayyaf reneged on an earlier pledge to
free one of the hostages last week after troops complied with their
initial demand to move back.


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