Philippines military suspect she resisted abductors
The Philippine military is verifying a claim by Abu Sayyaf militants that they have kidnapped a German man from a yacht and shot and killed his female companion, whose suspected body was found in the abandoned boat in the southern Philippines, officials said.
Regional military spokesman Major Filemon Tan said Abu Sayyaf spokesman Muamar Askali had claimed the militants kidnapped Juegen Kantner and killed the woman while the couple were cruising off neighbouring Malaysia’s Sabah state.
It’s not clear why the woman was purportedly killed, but it’s possible she may have fought back or tried to escape, Tan and another military official said.
Villagers reported finding a dead woman lying beside a shotgun on board a light blue yacht with the German flag and marked Rockall off Laparan Island in Sulu province, Tan said. The southern province is where the ransom-seeking militants hold their hostages in jungle encampments.
Troops took custody of the woman’s body and the yacht yesterday. The body and the yacht were being examined by police investigators in Tawi Tawi province, near Sulu, as part of efforts to verify the Abu Sayyaf’s claim, the military’s Western Mindanao Command said in a statement.
“Alarming is that the body found was naked and had several contusions to the face and was possibly raped,” the military said.
If the attack on the couple is confirmed, it would be the latest in a wave of attacks at sea by the Abu Sayyaf and allied gunmen despite efforts by the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia authorities to jointly shore up security in their busy sea border.