Philippine officials say that a 70-year-old German hostage, Jurgen Gustav Kantner, has been beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militant group after a deadline set by his captors lapsed. Aby Sayyaf, which pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014, had threatened to kill Kantner in a previous video and accused the authorities of attempting to rescue him instead of negotiating a ransom.
According to local officials, Kantner was apparently murdered at around 3.30pm local time on Sunday afternoon.
After the 26 February deadline passed, the group released a footage which the SITE intelligence group said showed Kantner’s beheading.
“Despite efforts exerted by groups and the security forces, I have received reports about the alleged beheading of a German kidnap victim in Sulu (on) Sunday afternoon”, said Jesus Dureza, peace adviser to the Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, and chief hostage negotiator.
Jurgen Kantner was was abducted in November 2016 while he and his wife Sabine Merz were cruising Philippine waters. Kantner wife was killed during the kidnapping after trying to resist the militants with a shotgun.
The couple was previously abducted by Somali pirates and held hostage for 58 days off the Gulf of Aden in 2008. Abu Sayyaf has been carrying attacks in the Philippines since the 90’s. The group carried out the worst terror attack in the Philippines in 2004, when 116 people were killed in a ferry bombing.
Since 2014, the Abu Sayyaf has carried out kidnappings and ransoms in support for ISIS and other Middle-East ISIS-based groups.
Source/Image: The Independent