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Remains of beheaded German to be flown to Manila

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The recovered remains of Jurgen Gustav Kantner, 71, a German kidnap victim, who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Sulu on February 26, will be flown to Manila anytime this week.

Joint Task Force Sulu Commander Colonel Cirilito Sobejana disclosed this in an interview with local reporters at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista headquarters in Busbus, Jolo on Tuesday.

"Anytime...Kantner's recovered body will be airlifted to Manila to officially turnover to proper German authorities," Sobejana said.

Local authorities have completed the forensics investigation and death certificate of the slain German on Monday. The remains had been kept in the morgue after post-morterm at the Camp Teodulfo Bautista hospital.

According to Sobejana, the military is still completing the transport document and once it is completed they would report it to the higher headquarters for the arrangement of transportation.

It was learned from Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, that the Department of Foreign Affairs will receive the remains of Kantner which will then be turned over to the German Embassy in Manila.

The elderly Kantner was abducted in November 2016 while he and his wife, 50-year-old Sabine Merz, were cruising in the waters off Tawi-Tawi in their yacth.

Kantner's wife was killed during the kidnapping, reportedly after trying to fight back against the militants with a shotgun.

He was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf group, with his severed head and body later found in a shallow grave and was exhumed by the marines who discovered the location Sulu.

President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier apologized to the German government and expressed sympathies to its citizens after the beheading of Kantner by Abu Sayyaf kidnappers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also condemned the killing, calling it as an "abominable act".

The Abu Sayyaf is believed to still be holding over 30 hostages - 12 Vietnamese nationals, 7 Indonesians, 6 Filipinos, 5 Malaysians and one Dutch.

Last year, the group, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS or Daesh, beheaded a Malaysian hostage, two Canadians and a Filipino after separate ransom deadlines lapsed.

Kantner was the fourth foreigner to be beheaded by the terror group over a span of just one year. - Hader Glang




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