Foreign Ministry condemns murder of Vietnamese citizens

NDO/VNA – The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned the murder of two Vietnamese citizens by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, 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 in preserving the bodies and identifying the victims, Nam said.

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

Immediately after confirmation, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed his sadness and anger at the barbaric and inhumane murders, and demanded severe punishment for the terrorists who caused the death of Vietnamese citizens, while calling on the international community to join hands in fighting 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’ wish.

The Foreign Ministry will continue requesting that the authorized Philippine agencies ensure the safety of all Vietnamese citizens, Deputy Minister Nam said, noting that the Philippine side has done all it could 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 home.

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

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