The captain of the Vietnamese-flagged bulk carrier Royal 16, who was kidnapped by pirates over a year ago, was found dead, the Philippine Star reported citing the Philippine police.
The Vietnamese captain is believed to have been killed during clashes with the army in Talipao town in Sulu.
The master, Pham Minh Tuan, was taken from the bulker in November 2016 together with five other members of the crew by a group of ten armed men, linked to the Abu Sayyaf group.
The 5,610 dwt bulker was boarded off Sibago Island by armed men, who also wounded two mariners in the attack.
The Philippine government troops rescued two crew members of the bulk carrier, while conducting military operations. The sailors managed to flee their captors and were recovered by military troops on two separate occasions.
However, two kidnapped sailors from the group were not that fortunate. In June, bodies of two decapitated Vietnamese sailors, identified as Hoang Thong and Hoang Va Hai, were found in Barangay Tumahubong in Sumisip town. The remaining crew member is reported to have been killed in a gunfire.
World Maritime News Staff