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Islamic State Claims Beheading of British Hostage


FILE - British aid worker Alan Henning holding a child in a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border.

The U.N. Security Council has joined U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron in condemning the beheading of a British hostage by the Islamic State terrorist group.

A Council statement late Friday said the world body "strongly condemned the heinous and cowardly murder of Alan Henning, a volunteer British humanitarian aid worker." The Security Council said the "crime is a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers volunteer humanitarian personnel face" in Syria, and "demonstrates the brutality" of the Islamic State militants.

The group posted a video late Friday showing the purported beheading. The video was released in the same manner as those depicting the beheadings of three other Western captives.

The footage ended with an Islamic State militant threatening another hostage the militant identified as an American named Peter Kassig. U.S. officials confirm that Kassig is being held by the terrorist group.

Mr. Obama strongly condemned what he called the "brutal murder," and said the U.S. and its allies will continue to take action to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State group.

The British Foreign Office says it is working to verify the contents of the video. British Prime Minister David Cameron issued a Tweet saying, "The brutal murder of Alan Henning by ISIL shows just how barbaric these terrorists are."

Henning was part of an informal aid convoy that was taken captive late last year after crossing into Syria.

Islamic State has beheaded three other foreign captives in recent weeks. The militants have beheaded British aid worker David Haines as well as American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

The Islamic State said the men were beheaded in retaliation for strikes by a U.S.-led coalition on their positions in Iraq. The coalition is trying to stop the group's campaign to create an Islamic state from parts of Iraq and Syria.