Europe

Philippine offensive continues amid threat to behead German

The Philippine military says troops are pressing efforts to eradicate Abu Sayyaf militants, who have threatened to behead a German hostage by a ransom deadline that has lapsed.

Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said Sunday that troops were continuing operations to rescue foreign and local hostages, including German hostage Jurgen Gustav Kantner, believed to be held by the militants in the jungles of southern Sulu province.

Kantner said in a video that circulated online earlier this month that the militants have threatened to behead him by mid-afternoon of Sunday if a ransom were not paid.

There was no immediate sign whether the militants pushed through with their threat to kill him.

President Rodrigo Duterte's adviser, Jesus Dureza, made a last-minute appeal to the militants to spare Kantner.