IS claims to kill hostages to avenge airstrikes

RSTV Bureau
SAINT-DENIS: Anti-terror squad of police operate in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in the process of raiding the building where the suspected terrorists were holed up. Photo - PTI/AP

SAINT-DENIS: Anti-terror squad of police operate in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in the process of raiding the building where the suspected terrorists were holed up.
Photo – PTI/AP

In a shocking development, terror syndicate Islamic State has claimed killing two hostages as strikes against the IS stronghold firmed up post the terror attacks in France. In the latest air strikes by French and Russian forces, 33 IS terrorists were killed in its stronghold in Syria. Though the claims are yet to be verified, the terror syndicate’s English-language magazine ‘Dabiq’ featured graphic photos of two bodies naming that of two hostages, Chinese national Fan Jinghui and one Norwegian national Ole-Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad.

The magazine caption read, “Executed after being abandoned by the ‘disbeliever’ nations and organisations.”

Their deaths come days after 129 people were killed and more than 300 were left wounded in Paris last week for which the IS had claimed responsibility. The terror attack is termed as bloodiest on French soil. The IS has also claimed responsibility of bombing the Russian passenger plane mid-air in Egypt, where 224 people were killed.

Reacting to the killing of hostages, the Norwegian Prime Minister’s office admitted that IS photos “seem to show that the hostage Ole-Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad was executed.” The high office, however, added that they are still “verifying it.”

On its part, Chinese establishment confirmed the killing of its national Fan Jinghui. Calling it an “inhuman” death in a statement on its website on Thursday, China vowed to bring his killers to justice.

“The terrorist organisation has no regard for human decency and the bottom line of morality,” spokesman Hong Lei said in Beijing.

“They still carried out their barbaric acts of violence. The Chinese government strongly condemns this inhuman atrocity…. we must bring these criminals to justice,” the spokesperson added.

The two men were last featured in IS magazine Dabiq’s September edition, in which IS published an “advertisement” that they were “for sale”.

Since Sunday, Russian and French raids have struck arms depots, barracks and other areas in Raqa city, the stronghold of Islamic State (IS) in northern Syria. In between, the US and Russia has also begun contemplating a joint effort to counter IS. A preliminary death toll from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said 72 hours of strikes “left 33 dead and dozens wounded in IS ranks”.

(With inputs from the Agencies)