US hostage held by ISIS confirmed dead

2015-02-10 17:15
Kayla Mueller is shown after speaking to a group in Prescott, Arizona. (The Daily Courier, Jo L Keener, AP)

Kayla Mueller is shown after speaking to a group in Prescott, Arizona. (The Daily Courier, Jo L Keener, AP)

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Washington - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday confirmed the death of Kayla Jean Mueller, who had been held by the Islamic State in Syria.

"No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla's captivity and death," he said in a statement.

Mueller's family also said in a statement that they were "heartbroken" to learn of her death and released a copy of a letter she had written in 2014 while in captivity.

The comments by Obama and the family come four days after ISIS said Mueller, a 26-year-old humanitarian worker, was killed on Friday when Jordanian fighter jets bombed a building where she was being held, although Jordan expressed doubt about the Islamist militant group's account of her death.

Mueller was determined to have died after her Islamic State captors reached out privately to her family over the weekend, a White House spokesperson said.

"Over the weekend, the family received a private message from Kayla's ISIS captors containing additional information," National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said, using an acronym for ISIS.

"Once this information was authenticated by the intelligence community, they concluded that Kayla was deceased," Meehan said.

Neither Obama nor the family gave details of the circumstances of her death.

Mueller was the last-known American hostage held by ISIS, which controls wide areas of Syria and Iraq. She was taken hostage while leaving a hospital in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo in August 2013.

"No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla's captivity and death," Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

"ISIS is a hateful and abhorrent terrorist group whose actions stand in stark contrast to the spirit of people like Kayla," Obama added.

Read more on:    isis  |  barack obama  |  us  |  syria

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