Abu Sayyaf extremists in the Philippines released a video showing the beheading of a German hostage in the first sign the brutal Filipino militants carried out a threat to kill him after a ransom deadline lapsed over the weekend.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s adviser dealing with Muslim rebel groups, Jesus Dureza, condemned the killing of Jurgen Gustav Kantner as barbaric, saying the Philippine military and other groups “exhausted all efforts to save his life” up to the final moment.
“We grieve as we strongly condemn the barbaric beheading of yet another kidnap victim,” Dureza said in a statement. “We all tried our best. But to no avail.”
The brief video circulated Monday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites, shows Kantner sitting in a grassy clearing and saying “Now he kill me” shortly before a masked militant beheads him with a curved knife.
A few gunmen mutter “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” in the video that lasts a minute and 43 seconds.
The Philippine military confirmed Kantner had been “mercilessly and inhumanly murdered.”
“Our operations in the past several days and nights using all our resources were unrelenting. We lost some of our best men in the process, because we value the life of Mr. Kantner and that of the others who have fallen prey to this terrorist group,” spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.