China verifying about IS-held hostage

Beijing, Sep 10 (IANS) The Chinese government is verifying information about the abduction of a Chinese national by Islamic State (IS) militants, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman said China firmly opposes any violence against innocent civilians, Xinhua news agency reported.

The radical group on Wednesday claimed that its militants had captured a Chinese consultant and a Norwegian man, according to its official online magazine, Dabiq.

In the English-language magazine, the IS announced the capture of Fan Jinghui, identified as a Beijing freelance consultant and Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad from Oslo.

The magazine posted shots of the two abductees from several angles, showing them in yellow outfit with words underneath the pictures that read “Chinese prisoner for sale” and “Norwegian prisoner for sale” respectively.

The magazine gave no details of the capture, but offered a telegram number for contact with the kidnapper for paying ransom.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Wednesday that a Norwegian citizen had been taken hostage by the IS in Syria and the country has refused to pay any ransom.

The Norwegian government was made aware of a possible kidnapping of a citizen in Syria in late January and a crisis team headed by the foreign ministry has worked on it for some time, said Solberg.

“So far as we know he must have been kidnapped inside Syria in late January. He has since been held by different groups, but there is reason to believe that he is now held by IS,” she said.

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