ISIS claims U.S. female hostage killed in airstrike
U.S. says it cannot confirm ISIS claims that hostage Kayla Mueller has been killed in coalition airstrikes
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) said on Friday that an American female hostage it was holding in Syria had been killed in Jordanian air strikes, but the United States said it cannot confirm the report.
In a statement posted on jihadist websites, ISIS said the woman, who has been identified as Kayla Mueller, was buried under rubble after a raid by a Jordanian warplane in Raqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the militant group.
“The plane from the crusader coalition bombed a position outside the city of Raqa after Friday prayers,” it said.
“No fighter was wounded but we can confirm that an American hostage was killed in the strikes.”
The statement did not show any pictures of a body and there was no independent confirmation of the claim. In Washington, U.S. officials said they could not confirm that the woman had been killed.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters during a briefing in Washington that “I cannot confirm those reports in any way.”
“We have said that there are a number of Americans being held overseas, including still by the Islamic State [ISIS]. I'm not going to get into further details than that,” Harf added.
“We are obviously deeply concerned by these reports. We have not at this time seen any evidence that corroborates ISIL's [ISIS] claim,” Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement, using an acronym for the group.
ISIS has executed five British and American aid workers and journalists in recent months.
A representative in the United States of Mueller's family said the family had no information on ISIS’ statement that she had been killed.
ISIS’ claim comes just days after the group released a video on Tuesday appearing to show a captured Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, being burned alive in a cage.
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