Ger­man man ab­ducted for sec­ond time

> Abu Sayyaf claims to have killed fe­male com­pan­ion


KUALA LUMPUR: A 70-year-old Ger­man yachter, Jur­gen Kant­ner, who was kid­napped and freed by So­mali pi­rates in 2008, was snatched again – this time by South Philip­pines Abu Sayyaf mil­i­tants.

Sabine Merz, his fe­male Ger­man com­pan­ion, who was with him on a yacht, is said to have been killed after be­ing shot by the mil­li­tants.

Philip­pine web por­tals re­ported that Abu Sayyaf mil­i­tants had claimed that Merz was killed by her cap­tors after she at­tempted to shoot them with a firearm.

The Philstar web news por­tal quoted Philip­pine mil­i­tary spokesman Ma­jor File­mon Tan Jr as say­ing that a body, be­lieved to be that of Merz, was found on board the yacht in the vicin­ity of La­paran Is­land in Sulu at around 6am on Sun­day.

Tan said the body had a gun­shot wound and a shot­gun was found next to it.

The web por­tal also quoted an Abu Sayyaf spokesman as say­ing that Kant­ner was taken away by their men.

Mean­while, Ber­nama re­ported that the Eastern Sabah Se­cu­rity Com­mand (ESSCom) has con­firmed no ab­duc­tion in­volv­ing a Ger­man cit­i­zen took place on Sun­day in Malaysian wa­ters.

How­ever, its com­man­der, DCP Datuk Wan Ab­dul Bari Wan Ab­dul Khalid said based on in­for­ma­tion from their Philip­pine coun­ter­parts, a Ger­man na­tional was in­deed ab­ducted on Sun­day in the wa­ters off the Lan­guyan Is­land in the Tawi-Tawi chain of is­lands in South­ern Philip­pines.

He said on Oct 13, Kant­ner and Merz had stopped in the wa­ters around Tam­bisan in La­had Datu to re­pair their boat. He said the cou­ple was head­ing to­wards Zam­boanga in the Philip­pines de­spite be­ing warned that the sit­u­a­tion there was un­safe.

In June 2008, Kant­ner and Merz, in her 50s, were held for al­most two months by So­mali pi­rates in the Gulf of Aden. They were freed after a ran­som of US$1 mil­lion (RM4.21 mil­lion) was paid.

A 2009 file pic­ture of Kant­ner and Merz.

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