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A news Alan’s family hoped ‘they would never hear’

Alan Henning holding a child in a refugee campon the Turkish-Syrian border in a file photo.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT

Alan Henning, the 47-year old taxi driver-turned aid worker from Manchester had been put on the Islamic State’s equivalent of death row at the time David Haines, a Scottish aid worker, was killed three weeks ago.

Last week the British Parliament had voted overwhelmingly in favour of air strikes against IS bases in Iraq. Royal Air Force Tornado jets started air strikes soon after.

An average bloke

Mr. Henning, also known as Gadget or Gadge for his technical skills, was “just your average bloke” as one TV channel described him. He was so moved by the suffering caused by war in Syria that he volunteered to ferry aid to the war-affected.

Forgoing Christmas with his family, he left for Syria on December 20 last year with an informal convoy of British Muslims, people he already knew through his work as a taxi-driver.

His convoy was stopped by IS militants on December 27, 2013, and though his colleagues were released, he was kept hostage. Mr. Henning had already been to Syria on three previous aid missions.

The execution of Mr. Henning, a father of two, has received widespread condemnation. In a statement released through the British foreign office, his wife said that the news of her husband’s execution was the “news we hoped we would never hear.”

Thanking all those who supported and joined the campaign for his release she said that her husband “Alan was a decent, caring human being. His interest was in the welfare of others. He will be remembered for this and we as a family are extremely proud of him and what he achieved and the people he helped”.

Condemning the “depravity” of his murderers, Prime Minister David Cameron promised to “hunt down these murderers and bring them to justice.”

American under threat

The IS has announced that a fifth hostage will be its next victim, an American who has been named by his captors as Peter Edward Kassig.

The voice in the video in which Henning’s execution was announced addresses U.S. President Barack Obama with the threat that Mr. Kassig’s life will be taken in retaliation for U.S. bombing.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 2:00:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/a-news-alan-hennings-family-hoped-they-would-never-hear/article6471738.ece

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