Extremist militant group Islamic State claims to be holding two more foreign nationals hostage, including a Chinese man said to be from Beijing and another man from Norway.
The announcement was made in the most recent issue of Dabiq, an online magazine used by IS to distribute propaganda. Images of the alleged prisoners appeared on one of the last pages with print reading “for sale”, according to AFP.
“To whom it may concern of the Crusaders, pagans, and their allies, as well as what are referred to as human ‘rights’ organisations, this prisoner was abandoned by his government, which did not do its utmost to purchase his freedom,” the page read.
“Whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer can contact the following telegram number,” it continued, adding that it was a “limited time offer”. The amount of money demanded wasn’t specified.
The “ad” identified the Chinese national as Fan Jinghui, a 50-year-old consultant from Beijing. It’s not clear how long he has been held by the group.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed during a press conference that 48-year-old Ole-Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad from Oslo had been kidnapped in Syria in January and “everything indicates” that he was being held by IS.
“This is a matter that the government is taking very seriously. We neither can nor will give in to pressure from terrorists and criminals. Norway does not pay ransom,” she said. “This is a principle we cannot depart from in the face of cynical terrorists. Payment of ransom would increase the risk that other Norwegian nationals will be taken hostage.”
The Chinese government has not yet made a statement on the matter.