MANILA, Philippines (Associated Press) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to Germany on Tuesday for failing to save a German hostage, who was beheaded by Muslim militants, and said a massive offensive backed by fighter jets against the extremists was underway.
Philippine military officials said Jurgen Gustav Kantner was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern jungles after a ransom deadline lapsed Sunday. The militants circulated a video of the beheading Monday, but his remains have not been found.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned “this abominable act, which shows once again how inhumane and without conscience these terrorists act,” spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement. “We must all stand together to fight against them.”