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ISIS: Arizona aid worker held hostage in Syria killed in airstrike

PHOENIX — The Islamic State claimed Friday an aid worker from Arizona held captive in Syria was killed by a Jordanian airstrike.

ISIS said Kayla Jean Mueller, a native of Prescott, Arizona, was killed.

The statement could not be independently verified. It appeared on a militant website commonly used by ISIS. It included photos of the supposed airstrike target, but none of Mueller.

No Islamic State militants were killed in the airstrikes, the statement further
claimed.

In a statement, Mueller’s family said she was kidnapped in August 2013 near Aleppo, Syria while working with Doctors Without Borders.

“The common thread of Kayla’s life has been her quiet leadership and strong desire to serve others,” the statement read.

Mueller, who graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2009, told The Daily Courier in 2013 she “can’t do enough” to help those affected by the Syrian civil war.

The family’s statement also said ISIS contacted them in May 2014 to show Mueller was alive.

NBC News reported ISIS demanded $6.6 million or the release of a Pakistani man convicted of attempted murder in New York to secure Mueller’s freedom.

Jordanian officials called the ISIS claim a “PR stunt.”

Airstrikes were ordered on ISIS strongholds in Syria as a retaliatory measure by Jordan. ISIS released a video earlier this week of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive by the group.

ISIS said the airstrike targeted “the same location for more than an hour” during Muslim prayers.

The White House did not have immediate comment.

If her death is confirmed, she would be the fourth American to die while in the
captivity of the Islamic State militants. Three other Americans, journalists
James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig were beheaded by the
group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.