Manila – Philippine troops have recovered the body of a 70-year-old German man beheaded by Islamist militants last week, a military commander said Sunday.
The victim was killed on February 26 by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group after a ransom of 30 million pesos (600,000 dollars) was not paid before a deadline set by his captors.
Troops were on patrol when they found his remains in a village in the town of Indanan on the island of Jolo, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila, on Saturday, said Colonel Cirilito Sobejana, commander of a military anti-terrorism task force.
The body has been turned over to a military hospital morgue for processing and preservation, he added.
The hostage had been seized by militants on November 5 from his yacht in the southern Philippines. They shot dead the man’s 59-year-old wife after she fought back. Her body was left in the boat.
President Rodrigo Duterte has apologised for failing to save the German hostage.
“I am very sorry that the hostage or a national of your country has been beheaded,” he said Tuesday. “I sympathize with the family. I commiserate with the German people.”
The Abu Sayyaf group was believed to be holding at least 26 more hostages, including 12 Vietnamese sailors, seven Indonesians and a Dutch man who was kidnapped in 2012.