Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the execution of a Canadian hostage by Abu Sayyaf militants in the Philippines, calling it "an act of cold-blooded murder."
John Ridsdel, 68, a former mining executive, was captured by Islamist militants along with three other people in September 2015 while on vacation on a Philippine island.
The Philippine army said a severed head was found on a remote island on Monday, five hours after the expiry of a ransom deadline set by militants who had threatened to execute one of four captives.
"Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage-takers and this unnecessary death. This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage," Trudeau told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting.