China on Thursday joined Norway in condemning the killing of their citizens who had been held hostage by the Islamic State militant group.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said "terrorism is the common enemy of human beings," and that his country opposes it in all its forms. The government vowed to bring those responsible to justice.
Islamic State militants used their online English-language magazine, Dabiq, to claim killing 50-year-old Chinese national Fan Jinghui and 48-year-old Norwegian Ole-Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad.
It showed photos of two bodies, and a caption said the two were "executed after being abandoned by the kafir [infidel] nations and organizations."
Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Wednesday the killing was a "barbaric act."
“There is no excuse for the treatment our countryman has been exposed to, neither in religion or ideology," she said. "This is a cold-blooded murder.”
The men appeared to have been shot to death. The Islamic State group infamously has recorded video footage of the executions of other hostages, including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
FILE - An image taken from a video released by the Islamic State group purportedly shows a masked militant holding a knife and gesturing as he speaks to the camera before beheading U.S. freelance writer Steven Sotloff.
It is not clear how or where Fan, a freelance consultant, was captured.
Grimsgaard-Ofstad, a graduate student in political philosophy, was taken while traveling through Syria in January. His last Facebook post, from late that month, said he had arrived in the city of Idlib, en route to Hama.
In September, Solberg said Norway did not plan to pay ransom to secure the release of a hostage. But Wednesday she said she had been in contact with Grimsgaard-Ofstad’s family for months.
“They wanted me to say that ISIL also in this case have shown their brutality by mutilating the hostage,” Solberg said.
Solberg said he had been badly treated and pictures showing his ill treatment were sent to the family with demands for ransom.