ISLAMIC militants in the Philippines have beheaded an elderly German tourist they had been holding hostage.
Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf militants posted a video of the killing after a deadline for a $US600,000 ($781,000) ransom passed.
The video showed a machete-wielding militant behead Jurgen Kantner. The German had appealed for help twice in short video messages, saying he would be killed if ransom were not paid.
The Philippines’ armed forces pledged in a separate statement to bring Kantner’s killers to justice and to continue operations to free other hostages held by Abu Sayyaf.
In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a united international front against terrorism.
“The chancellor condemns this hideous attack that shows, once again, how unprincipled and barbarous terrorists act,” her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
The Abu Sayyaf, blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history, had previously demanded a ransom of 30 million pesos ($780,000) be paid by Sunday to spare the 70-year-old.
Kanter was abducted from his yacht, the Rockall, in waters off the southern Philippines last year.
The vessel was found drifting on November 7, with the body of Kantner’s female companion, Sabine Merz, bearing a gunshot wound.
The couple had previously been kidnapped and held for 52 days in Somalia in 2008 before they were freed, reportedly after a huge ransom was paid, press reports said.
The Abu Sayyaf, whose leaders have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State movement in the Middle East, have been kidnapping foreigners and Christians for decades, holding them for ransom in the jungles of the strife-torn southern Philippines.
They have frequently killed hostages if their demands are not met.
Abu Sayyaf is currently holding 26 hostages — 13 Vietnamese, seven Filipinos, a Dutch national, a Japanese, two Indonesians and two Malaysians, the military said.
The group, formed from seed money provided by a relative of Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, also carried out the bombing of a ferry in Manila Bay in 2004 that claimed 116 lives in the country’s deadliest terror attack.
The military had been pressing an assault against the Abu Sayyaf, attacking their camps and bombing their hideouts just before Kantner was killed.
These are the same people who whom Julie Bishop has direct $58,000,000.00 in Australian Aid Funding to pay for Islamic Madrassas or so-called schools where the Koran is the primary text.
To Garry and Wendy we are beyond words in sorrow at your loss and the grief and anguish you suffered through the horrific murder first of your two Canadian friends and Sabine and Jurgen.
I hope you're tooled up Garry.
God bless you and all who sail with you.