German sailor Jurgen Kantner, who was kidnapped by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Philippines last November, has appeared in a video released by the terrorists

15 February 2017

Terrorists holding Jurgen Kantner have released a video stating they will execute the German sailor unless their ransom demands are met by 26 February 2017.

The 70-year-old was kidnapped by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group last November in the Tawi-Tawi province of the Philippines.

Kantner’s wife, Sabine Merz, was killed by the terrorists during the abduction.

Her body was found on the couple’s yacht, Rockall, off the coast of Pangutaran Island in Sulu.

The Rockall in the Philippines. A German sailor has been killed, while her elderly husband has been kidnapped

The Rockall. Credit: Philippines Military

Following the abduction of Kantner, the group demanded a ransom of 30 million Philippine Peso, the equivalent of around £500,000.

The news website, philstar Global is reporting that the video is still being validated by the military.

“We are still validating this. We must first examine this video because I for one have not seen it,” Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo, told the website.

“The government, we do not negotiate with terrorists, we do not pay ransom to terrorists,” he continued.

Col. Arevalo stressed that the military would exert all effort to rescue Kantner, and that rescue operations are continuing against the bandits and yielding positive results.

He also stated that it is government policy to discourage any group from paying ransom for the hostages.

“Our position has been consistent. We discourage payment of ransom because we believe that payment of ransom will only embolden them, will continue to capacitate them and they can even buy the loyalty of the community,” Arevalo said.

According to the military, the Abu Sayyaf Group, is currently holding 27 local and foreign hostages.

The jihadist group, which is based in the southern Philippines, is notorious for kidnapping for ransom, and for attacks on civilians and the army.

 

7 November 2016

The military of the Philippines has reported that the body of a German sailor has been found on board an abandoned yacht in a remote island in the Sulu archipelago.

The authorities say the woman was shot. A shotgun was found lying near to her body.

Her husband, who is also a German national, is missing.

He is believed to have been abducted by Abu Sayyaf rebels.

The group is reported to have made millions from kidnapping foreign nationals and demanding ransoms.

The couple are believed to be Jurgen Kantner and his wife, Sabine, although no formal identification has yet taken place.

A regional military spokesman, Filemon Tan told AFP that the couple’s passports had been found on board the yacht, which has been identified as the Rockall.

The German couple had been previously abducted by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and held for 52 days in 2008.

Abu Sayyaf is a jihadist group in the southern Philippines It is notorious for kidnapping for ransom, and for attacks on civilians and the army.

In April 2014, the group kidnapped two German sailors, Stefan Okonek and Henrike Dielen.

The pair had been sailing from Palawan to Sabah when they were kidnapped. Their deserted yacht was later found at sea by local fishermen.

The two were later released after a £3.4 million ransom was reportedly paid.

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