President Obama

President Obama

President Obama has confirmed the death of Peter Kassig, after a video showing his apparent execution was released by Islamic State.

Peter Kassig was in Syria as an aid worker before he was kidnapped over a year ago at a checkpoint - he has been held ever since until his death over the weekend.

A video was released over the weekend showing what appeared to be the execution by Islamic State, and the U.S. have been working to verify the authenticity of the video.

In a statement, the President confirmed the death of Peter Kassig, and offered his condolences to the family.

He said: "Today we offer our prayers and condolences to the parents and family of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known to us as Peter." Before going on to call his murder 'an act of pure evil.'

During his year in captivity, Kassig had converted to Islam, and Abdul-Rahman Kassig was the name that he had taken.

Mr Kassig had been in the U.S. military and has served a tour in Iraq back in 2007. However, when he returned home, he took up aid work and went on to become an emergency medical technician.

Peter Kassig has become the fifth Westerner to be murdered at the hands of Islamic State: Americans journalists and James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worked David Haines and Alan Henning have already lost their lives.

In previous videos, hostages were made to make speeches before their deaths, but this time around, the moments leading up to Mr Kassig's death were not shown.

However, the Islamic State fighter who has become known as Jihadi John - and speaks with a British accent - was present in the video once again.

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