German nationals Kantner and his wife Sabine Merz (Photo: dailymail.co.uk)
 
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine military on February 26 said it has been verifying a claim that a German hostage was killed by the Abu Sayyaf Islamist militant group after authorities failed to pay a ransom on time.

According to the military, the Abu Sayyaf group demanded a 30 million peso ransom (about 600,000 USD) by 3pm on February 25 to release Juegen Kantner, the German hostage, aged 70.

The militant group claimed that it abducted Kantner and killed his wife on a yacht in Malaysia’s Sabahz state in November 2016. 

An official said the hostage was beheaded in a town in the country’s southern province of Sulu, adding that Philippine troops are in the area.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has claimed that the Aby Sayyaf group has links with the Islamic State militants in the Middle East.-VNA