Foreign Ministry condemns murder of Vietnamese citizens

Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Hong Nam (Source:

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign
Affairs strongly condemned the murder of two Vietnamese citizens by the terrorist
Abu Sayyaf group, Deputy Minister Vu Hong Nam stated in his interview granted
to the press.

According to the deputy minister, after being informed of
the murder of the two victims suspected to be Vietnamese on the night of July 4
in Banrangay Tumahubong Sumisip village of the Philippines, the ministry summoned
a chargé d’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Hanoi on July 5.

At the same time, the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines
contacted the host country’s authorised agencies to ask for coordination to
preserve the bodies and identify the victims, Nam said.

The two victims were confirmed to be Hoang Trung Thong and
Hoang Van Hai – two Vietnamese sailor of the ship Royal 16 who had been
kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf group in November 2016, he told reporters.

Immediately after the confirmation, Prime Minister Nguyen
Xuan Phuc has expressed his upset and anger at the barbaric and inhumane
murder, and demanded severe punishment for the terrorists who caused the death
of Vietnamese citizens while calling on the international community to join
hands to fight terrorism.

The PM and the Foreign Ministry have extended their condolences
to the families of the victims.

Deputy Minister Vu Hong Nam said the ministry will help the
families in holding funeral observances for the victims. Even though the
Zamboanga region is under a curfew, representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy
have arrived at the local hospital where the victims’ bodies are kept, and are
working with Philippine agencies to complete legal procedures to bring the
victims’ bodies or remains back to Vietnam in accordance with their families’

The Foreign Ministry will continue requesting Philippines’
authorised agencies to ensure safety for Vietnamese citizens, Deputy Minister
Nam said, noting that the Philippine side has done its best to assist with
Vietnam’s request.

On June 22, Hoang Vo, one among the Royal 16 sailors
kidnapped by the terrorist group in November 2016, was rescued and returned

The official also asked ship owners and companies which have
ships operating in the seas at the risk of pirate attacks to strictly follow
preventive measures as well as latest advice of domestic and international
relevant agencies.-VNA

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