ISIS demands ransom for Chinese, Norwegian hostages

Images posted on Twitter of alleged Norwegian and Chinese hostages.
Images posted on Twitter of alleged Norwegian and Chinese hostages.TWITTER

DUBAI (AFP) - The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group claimed on Wednesday (Sept 9) to be holding a Chinese and a Norwegian hostage and asked for an unspecified ransom for their release.

The announcement came in the latest issue of the Sunni Muslim militants' English-language magazine, Dabiq, distributed on Twitter.

It gave no details about where or when they were captured, or where they are being held.

In the case of each man, it published an "advertisement" announcing that he was "for sale".

Under each man's photograph, it says: "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."

At the bottom, it said: "Whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer can contact the following telegram number," adding that this is a "limited time offer".

It did not say how much money was being demanded, nor when the opportunity to pay it would expire.

In Oslo, Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed a Norwegian citizen was being held hostage.

"I can confirm that a Norwegian citizen has been kidnapped and is being held prisoner in Syria," she said in a statement, adding that a crisis cell had been formed to follow the case.

"This is a serious and complicated affair," she said, adding that "our objective is to bring our fellow citizen home safely to Norway."