US President Barack Obama has condemned the killing of American aid worker Peter Kassig as ‘pure evil’.
His murder at the hands of the group calling itself Islamic State or ISIL has been confirmed by the White House and greeted by his family with great sadness.
Kassig’s parents said they were proud of their son and for his humanitarian work . The 26-year-old was representing his own charity in Syria when he was captured last October.
Kassig changed his name to Abdul Rahman after converting to Islam while in captivity.
News of his death came in the form of a video posted on line which also showed the beheadings of at least 14 other men said by ISIL to be pilots and officers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
One of the ISIL members on the tape is thought to have had a British accent and the French interior ministry claims a French national may have also been among the militants carrying out the killings.
Islamic State militants have previously beheaded four other westerners – US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning. All had been working in Syria when they were taken hostage.