Abu Sayyaf gunmen killed a Dutchman whom they had held hostage since 2012, during a firefight in the southern Philippines that also left at least six militants and eight soldiers dead on Friday, military officials said.
Ewold Horn, a 59-year-old wildlife photographer, was slain after he tried to escape his captors as they came under fire from government forces who tracked them down in a hinterland in Patikul, on far southern Jolo island, authorities said.
“He suffered several bullet wounds,” Col. Gerry Besana, the regional military spokesman, told BenarNews from Jolo.
A woman identified by the military as Mingayan Sahiron, the wife of Abu Sayyaf commander Raddulan Sahiron, was also killed in Friday’s clash. Officials said it was unclear whether her husband, who is wanted by U.S. authorities for suspected terrorism, was in the area at the time.
In Manila late on Friday, the Embassy of the Netherlands issued a statement about the Dutchman’s killing in the Philippine south.
Horn was the first Western hostage allegedly killed by Abu Sayyaf militants, who are notorious for abducting foreigners including citizens of neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, since the group executed two Canadian captives in 2016.
“We are deeply saddened that our citizen – Mr. Ewold Horn, who was kept hostage for more than seven years, has been killed,” the embassy said via its Facebook page.
“Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with his family in this hour of mourning.”
Full story: BenarNews
Zamboanga, Philippines. Mark Navales and Jeoffrey Maitem contributed to this report from Cotabato City, Philippines.
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