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Philippine marines find remains of beheaded German hostage

Philippine troops have found the remains of a German hostage who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militants in the country's south after a ransom deadline lapsed.

Regional military commander Major General Carlito Galvez Jr said marines dug up the head and body of Juergen Gustav Kantner in the mountainous hinterlands of Indanan town in Sulu province, where the militants are holding several foreign and local hostages.

President Rodrigo Duterte apologised to Germany and Mr Kantner's family after government forces failed to rescue him during nearly four months in captivity.

About two dozen Filipino troops were wounded in clashes that killed 16 Abu Sayyaf gunmen in efforts to find and rescue Mr Kantner, who was seized from a yacht off Malaysia's Sabah state in November.

Mr Kantner's female companion was fatally shot on the yacht, which was later found in the southern Philippines.

The couple had survived a kidnapping ordeal off Somalia in 2008.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned 70-year-old Mr Kantner's killing as an "abominable act".

AP

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