Wednesday 21 February 2018

Death of American woman Kayla Mueller held by Islamic State confirmed

The parents of a US woman held by Islamic State militants have been notified of her death, President Barack Obama has confirmed.

Carl and Marsha Mueller, the parents of Kayla Jean Mueller, released a statement saying they have been told she has died.

Read more: Islamic State says female US hostage killed in Syria

The White House also issued a statement confirming her death.

Islamic State said on Friday that the 26-year-old, from Prescott, Arizona, died in a Jordanian air strike.

The government of Jordan dismissed the statement as propaganda. US officials have said they had seen no evidence to corroborate the report.

Ms Mueller was the only known remaining US hostage held by IS. She was taken in August 2013 while leaving a hospital in Syria.

Ms Mueller, of Prescott, Arizona, had been working in Turkey assisting Syrian refugees, according to a 2013 article in The Daily Courier, her home town newspaper. The 26-year-old told the paper that she was drawn to help with the situation in Syria.

"For as long as I live, I will not let this suffering be normal," she said. "It's important to stop and realise what we have, why we have it and how privileged we are. And from that place, start caring and get a lot done."

According to the local paper, Ms Mueller had been working with the humanitarian aid agency Support To Life, as well as a local NGO that helped female Syrian refugees develop skills.

More to follow.

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