A 70-year-old German man held hostage by Isis-affiliated Islamist militants in the Philippines has been beheaded after a deadline set by his captors lapsed.
Philippine officials said they received reports that Jurgen Gustav Kantner was murdered at around 3.30pm local time on Sunday afternoon by the Abu Sayyaf militant group, which pledged allegiance to Isis in 2014.
Abu Sayyaf had threatened to kill Mr Kantner in a previous video after accusing the authorities of attempting to rescue him instead of negotiating a ransom, and on Monday released footage which the SITE intelligence group said showed his beheading.
As the Sunday deadline passed, Philippine military spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said troops were continuing with operations to rescue both foreign and local hostages, in spite of Abu Sayyaf’s threats.
Jesus Dureza, President Rodrigo Duterte's peace adviser and chief hostage negotiator, said in a statement issued late on Sunday: "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.”
Full report here The Independent
Image: Jurgen Kantner, who authorities say has been murdered, pictured in 2009 with his wife, Sabine Merz, who herself was killed during the kidnapping last November AFP
The ASKET team's thoughts are with the families of both Jurgan and Sabine, two people who just wanted to be free exploring the world together by sea.