The military in the Philippines has found the remains of German sailor Jurgen Kantner, who was executed by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group

6 March 2017

The military in the Philippines has confirmed that it has recovered the remains of Jurgen Kantner, who was murdered by Abu Sayyaf militants last week.

The kidnapped German skipper was found by troops during operations in Indanan, Sulu.

He was beheaded after the deadline to pay a 30 million Philippine Peso (£500,000) ransom for his release passed on 26 February 2017.

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has since apologised to Germany for not saving the 70-year-old in time, although he stressed that ransoms could not be paid.

Kantner was kidnapped last November while sailing with his wife, Sabine Merz.

She was found murdered on board the couple’s yacht, Rockall.

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

The Abu Sayyaf group is well known for raising money through piracy and ransom payments.

 

28 February 2017

The Philippine government has now confirmed that sailor Jurgen Kantner has been murdered by the members of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

The German sailor was kidnapped by the group last November while he was sailing in the Tawi-Tawi province of the Philippines with his wife, Sabine Merz.

She was found murdered on board the couple’s yacht, Rockall.

The terrorist group demanded a ransom of 30 million Philippine Peso (£500,000) for Kantner’s release, giving a deadline of 26 February 2017.

Confirming the skipper’s murder, government spokesman, Jesus Dureza, said in a statement: “We grieve as we strongly condemn the barbaric beheading of yet another kidnap victim.”

“Up to the last moment, many sectors including the armed forces of the Philippines exhausted all efforts to save his life. We all tried our best. But to no avail”.

 

27 February 2017

Reports from the Filipino Police say German sailor, Jurgen Kantner, has been murdered by Abu Sayyaf.

The terrorist group has been holding the 70-year-old since last November, demanding a 30 million Philippine Peso (£500,000) ransom for his release.

Security officials say they still have to verify the report that Kantner has been killed.

In a statement issued to The Straits Times, Jesus Dureza, President Rodrigo Duterte’s peace adviser and chief hostage negotiator, said: “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”.

A police report, released yesterday afternoon, also said that Kantner was executed at around 3.30pm, on 26 February, in Buanza district, Indanan town, Sulu province, 1,500km south of the capital Manila.

The head of the military’s public affairs office, Colonel Edgard Arevalo, said that unconfirmed information that Kantner had been killed has been received, but stressed that security forces were still “on search-and rescue” mode, until confirmation.

Military spokesman, Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla, said: “Until sufficient proof is obtained…, our assumption remains that the subject kidnapped victim is alive and well. Do not believe unvalidated information going around until proven otherwise.”

Kantner was kidnapped by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group last November in the Tawi-Tawi province of the Philippines, where he was cruising with his wife, Sabine Merz.

She was murdered 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 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.

 

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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