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Philippines-based Group Abu Sayyaf Beheads German Hostage

  • VOA News

FILE - German national Jurgen Kantner and his wife Sabine Merz (R) pose for a photograph on May 05, 2009 in Berbera, Somaliland.

A German hostage has been executed in the Philippines by the notorious Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf after a ransom deadline lapsed.

Video of the execution of Jurgen Kantner was circulated Monday by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist terrorist groups.

The elderly German national was kidnapped last November while sailing on his yacht in the waters off the southern Philippines. Abu Sayyaf militants demanded a $600,000 ransom for his release, and the deadline to make the payment expired Sunday.

Philippine government spokesman Jesus Dureza said authorities had exhausted all efforts to rescue Kantner.

Kantner's female companion, Sabeen Merz, was killed during the abduction and her body left on board the floating yacht. The couple had spent 52 days in captivity by Somali pirates in 2008.

Abu Sayyaf has carried out numerous kidnappings, bombings and beheadings -- including two Canadians just last year -- since its formation in the 1990s. The organization is believed to be holding more than a dozen hostages for ransom, including seven from the Philippines.

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