A Malaysian hostage kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants earlier this year was beheaded by the group in Philippines on Tuesday, as per reports. 

Bernard Then, 39, was kidnapped from a resort in Malaysia's Sabah state in May. 

"There were credible reports that Abu Sayyaf has carried out the execution," Brigadier-General Alan Arrojado, an army commander, told Reuters. 

Abu Sayyaf militants have kidnapped several foreigners from the country's southern islands in recent months. 

The beheading comes just days after the Islamist militants had released another Malaysian captive after receiving the ransom amount.

Bernard Then was reportedly beheaded as his family had "failed to comply". 

In September, the Al Qaeda-affiliated group kidnapped  three foreigners, including two Canadian tourists, a Norwegian resort manager and a Filipino woman, and have demanded ransom in exchange of their lives. 

Last month, gunmen kidnapped an Italian restaurant owner after posing as customers at his restaurant in Philippines. 

The Abu Sayyaf militants had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.