A Dutch hostage held by militant Islamist group Abu Sayyaf has been killed as he tried to flee during a battle with troops. Ewold Horn, 59, was killed during an army operation against the Islamic State-linked group on the island of Jolo.

The photographer and birdwatcher died during a 90-minute exchange of fire. Six Abu Sayyaf militants were also killed.

Mr Horn was one of two European photographers captured by the militants in the southern Philippines in February 2012. He was seized along with Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra on Tawi Tawi island. Mr Vinciguerra managed to escape during an army attack in 2014.

In 2008,  re-oriented by the Islamic Indonesian group Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf started a new strategy abducting an ABS-CBN news team, signalling the degeneration of the group into kidnapping for ransom. That was followed 6 months later by the kidnapping of members of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Their kidnappings have continued since then

The group Abu Sayyaf was behind the January bombing of a Catholic cathedral on Jolo island during Sunday mass, which killed 20 people and was the worst attack to hit the country in years,