Philippine Duterte apologizes for death of German hostage

Philippine Duterte apologizes for death of German hostageThe Philippine president has apologized to Germany for failing to stop the beheading of a German hostage by Muslim militants, Associated Press said onTuesday.

He also said a massive offensive backed by fighter jets against the extremists was underway.

"I am very sorry that the hostage, a national of your country, has been beheaded. I sympathize with the family, I commiserate with the German people," Duterte said during a Palace press conference on Tuesday, February 28.

He admitted that despite intensified military operations against the Abu Sayyaf, the government failed to rescue Kantner, who was reportedly beheaded 3 months after a deadline for his ransom payment lapsed.

"We really tried our best. We have been there; the military operation has been going on for sometime already and but we have failed and so that has to be admitted," said Duterte.

Philippine officials say Jurgen Gustav Kantner was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines after a ransom deadline lapsed Sunday.

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," the spokesman added.

On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte apologized and outlined the steps his government has taken to quell a wave of kidnappings by Muslim militants, including a request he made to China to help patrol the international waters bordering the southern Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia where many piracy incidents and abductions have happened. Duterte said China has not responded to his request.
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