Militants Behead Sailor Who Was Kidnapped Twice

Kantner survived pirate abduction in 2008
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2017 4:53 AM CST
Updated Feb 28, 2017 6:01 AM CST
Militants Behead Sailor Who Was Kidnapped Twice
Militants kidnapped Juergen Kantner and killed his companion while the couple were cruising in this yacht off Malaysia's Sabah state.   (WESMINCOM via AP)

A German man who resumed sailing around the world after being released by Somali pirates in 2008 has been murdered by militants in the Philippines who kidnapped him a second time. The extremist group Abu Sayyaf has released video of the beheading of 70-year-old Juergen Kantner, who was kidnapped while sailing off the coast of Malaysia in November, the BBC reports. His companion, Sabine Merz, was shot dead during the kidnapping. The couple were held captive in Somalia for 52 days after the first abduction and were released after a ransom was reportedly paid.

Philippines government envoy Jesus Dureza confirmed the killing, which happened after a deadline to pay a ransom passed on Sunday. "Up to the last moment, many sectors including the armed forces of the Philippines exhausted all efforts to save his life," Dureza said in a statement, per AFP. "We tried our best." The New York Times reports that Kantner had been well aware of the risks but couldn't remain on land. "I bought my first boat at 28," he once said. "All in all, I have spent more than 30 years at sea." Kantner's body has not been recovered. Philippines military officials believe Abu Sayyaf is still holding at least seven Filipinos and 19 foreigners. (Last year, a Canadian hostage met a similar fate.)

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