The militant group calling itself Islamic State on Wednesday said it had executed two hostages, one Chinese and the other Norwegian, releasing images in the latest issue of its official English-language magazine Dabiq purporting to show the two men had been shot to death.
It was unclear when Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, from Oslo, and Fan Jinghui, a 50-year-old freelance consultant from Beijing, had been taken captive by the extremist group. They were depicted as being dressed in yellow jump suits in photos in Dabiq in September, when news emerged of their capture.
Norway's Prime Minister on Wednesday said the pictures published by Islamic State indicated Mr. Grimsgaard-Ofstad had been killed, but that Norwegian experts were still trying to verify if the pictures were authentic. “We have so far no reason to doubt the content" of the pictures, Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference. If Mr. Grimsgaard-Ofstad had in fact been executed, “this is a coldblooded murder," she said.
Ms. Solberg said she condemned the “despicable and barbaric" killing of her countryman and said Mr. Grimsgaard-Ofstad's family had the compassion of the Norwegian people. “I have been in contact with his family this afternoon, in this situation of despair. There is no excuse for the treatment our countryman has been subject to, neither in religion nor ideology," Ms. Solberg said.
The Islamic State (IS) group says it has executed two hostages -- a Norwegian and a Chinese citizen.
The militants' Dabiq magazine featured on November 18 graphic photos of two bodies that appeared to be those of Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad and Fan Jinghui.
It gave no details about when, where, or how the two men were killed, but they appeared to have been shot.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said there was no reason to doubt the claim, and called it a "despicable and barbaric act."
"The terrorist organization has no regard for human decency and the bottom line of morality," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
In the Dabiq magazine's September edition, the IS militants had published an "advertisement" saying that two men -- a Norwegian and a Chinese -- were "for sale."