This combination of undated photos taken from the Islamic State group's online magazine Dabiq purports to show Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, from Oslo, Norway, left, and Fan Jinghui, 50, from Beijing, China.
The extremist group published two images of the men in the second-to-last page of its English-language magazine, saying they had been “executed after being abandoned by kafir nations and organisations”. “Kafir” is the Arabic word for infidel. In the images, the men appeared to have both been shot dead.
A screenshot of the Dabiq page which announced the pair's execution. The group had earlier identified the Norwegian man as Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, from Oslo, and the Chinese man as Fan Jinghui, 50, a freelance consultant from Beijing. It did not say when or where the two were captured.
The Islamic State group controls large areas in Iraq and Syria. The killing of the two men stood in contrast to other filmed beheadings and atrocities carried out by the group since seizing a third of Iraq in a lightning advance in 2014.
The demand for a cash ransom also stood in contrast to the group’s other hostage demands. The announced killings come as Islamic State militants face increasing airstrikes from a variety of countries, including the United States, Russia and France, as well as ground attacks from Kurdish and other forces.
In September, the Chinese foreign ministry confirmed that the Chinese national reported as being held hostage by Islamic State insurgents appeared to be one of its missing citizens.
The State-run Beijing News said it had located an advertising company in western Beijing registered to Fan using the partial address provided in the magazine. Photo: AP