Beijing vows justice after ISIS kills Chinese captive

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei speaks during a daily briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. (AP)

China vowed on Thursday to bring to justice those responsible for killing one of its citizens after ISIS said it had executed a Chinese captive, the only known Chinese hostage to have been held by the group.

ISIS said it had killed a Chinese and Norwegian captive, showing pictures of what appeared to be the dead men under a banner reading “Executed” in the latest edition of its English-language online magazine, Dabiq.

It did not give any details in the magazine, published on Wednesday, about how, when or where the men were killed.

In a brief statement, China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the man’s identify for the first time, naming him as Fan Jinghui, saying he had been “cruelly murdered”. It said in September one of its citizens appeared to be in Islamic State captivity.

Beijing had activated an emergency mechanism to try to rescue him, but he was killed nevertheless in a “cold-blooded way”, the ministry said. It gave no details on how they might have captured him.

“The Chinese government strongly condemns this savage act devoid of humanity and will certainly bring the criminals to justice,” the statement said.

“The Chinese government will resolutely oppose all forms of terrorism and resolutely strike at any violent terrorist criminal activities that defy the bottom lines of human culture,” it added, noting Beijing would strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation with the international community.

Speaking at a later briefing, ministry spokesman Hong Lei did not elaborate on the statement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, visiting Manila for a regional summit, said he strongly condemned the killing.

The militant group had previously identified Fan as a 50-year-old freelance consultant from Beijing.

The state-run Beijing News said Fan was a former advertising executive who had once lived in a western suburb of Beijing, but that his company shut down in 2003. It said it had found an advertising firm registered to Fan in western Beijing.

Security officials stood guard outside the low-rise building on Thursday and stopped a Reuters reporter from entering.

“He was just a normal person. I didn’t really know him when he lived here but there was nothing special about him,” said one resident, who gave her family name as Zhang.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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