German hostage beheaded in Phillipines

A video posted by the extremist Abu Sayyaf group in Manila appeared to show 70-year-old Jurgen Gustav Kantner murdered by a man wielding a machete

German hostage beheaded in Phillipines

In this undated file photo, Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Sabaya, right foreground, stands with militants in Basilan, the Philippines. Image: AP Photo/File

A German hostage has been beheaded by Islamic terrorists in the Philippines, according to a government advisor.

A video posted by the extremist Abu Sayyaf group in Manila appeared to show 70-year-old Jurgen Gustav Kantner being killed by a man wielding a machete.

The video was posted after a deadline for a $600,000 (approximately €567,000) ransom had passed.

In a statement, government envoy, Jesus Dureza said officials had exhausted all efforts to save Kantner, who was held on the tiny southern island of Jolo.

"We grieve as we strongly condemn the barbaric beheading of yet another kidnap victim," Dureza said in a statement.

“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.

"Terrorism has no place in a country like ours and we as a people must confront violent extremism every time it rears its ugly head. There must be a stop to this killing of the innocent and the helpless."

Mr Kantner and his wife Sabine Merz were reportedly taken captive in November 2016 while sailing near Sabah, eastern Malaysia, and brought to Jolo.

Ms Merz is believed to have been shot dead when she tried to resist the militants.

The couple were also abducted by Somali pirates and held hostage for 58 days off the Gulf of Aden in 2008.

Mr Dureza said he had been in close contact with German authorities throughout the ordeal.

"Another precious life had been needlessly lost. There must be a stop to this killing of the innocent and the helpless,” he said.

“We condole with his family, friends and loved ones.”

The leaders of Abu Sayyaf are believed to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State movement in the Middle East.

The group was reportedly responsible for the Philippines’ worst terror attack, the Superferry bombing in 2004 which killed around 100 people.

It is currently believed to be holding 26 other hostages. They have freed several others in return for ransom payments.