Filipino militants set time for hostage beheading

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Al-Qaida-linked extremists set a Tuesday deadline for beheading one of three Red Cross hostages unless government troops withdraw from the militants’ jungle stronghold, an official said, as Pope Benedict XVI appealed for their release.

Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad threatened to behead one of the hostages – two Europeans and a Filipino – at 2 p.m. Tuesday unless police and militiamen withdraw from 15 villages on Jolo island, Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said.

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