Dutch birdwatcher held hostage by terrorists killed in gun battle with Philippine army | News | DW | 31.05.2019
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Dutch birdwatcher held hostage by terrorists killed in gun battle with Philippine army

Ewold Horn from the Netherlands was Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf's longest-held hostage. The military said that it also killed the Abu Sayyaf commander's wife during its raid.

A Dutch birdwatcher held captive for seven years by Islamist militants was killed during a firefight in the southern Philippines, military officials said Friday.

Ewold Horn was fatally shot during a gun battle between Abu Sayyaf militants and army troops in the jungles of Sulu province's Patikul town, Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo Jr said.

Read more: The kidnapped German journalist who gave birth in Syria

What the military said of the incident:

  • "Horn was shot by his Abu Sayyaf guards while trying to escape, taking advantage of the firefight," Pabayo said.
  • Six militants were killed and 12 others wounded in the fierce clash.
  • Eight soldiers were also wounded.
  • Among those killed was "the second wife" of Abu Sayyaf commander Raddulan Sahiron, an internationally recognized terrorist.

Netherlands to ask for details 

The military's account of the incident could not be independently verified. 

Netherlands Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the ministry was investigating the precise circumstances of Horn's death. 

"I am shocked by this tragic outcome," Blok said. "I'm in touch with the family. I will ask my Philippine colleague for further clarification" about the circumstances of Ewold's death, Blok added.

Horn was kidnapped with a Swiss man and a local guide in 2012 during a birdwatching trip in Tawi Tawi province, near Sulu.

The guide escaped while being transported to Jolo and the Swiss man escaped in 2014.

Horn was the longest-held captive of Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group regularly engages in kidnapping of foreigners and Filipinos.

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cw/msh (AP, dpa)

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