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.