Leaders have denounced the killing of a Norwegian and a Chinese hostage by the group calling itself "Islamic State." Their deaths occurred as world powers decide on next steps in the fight against the militant group.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg responded to the killings with shock and condemnation, after the "Islamic State" (IS) group claimed to have executed the two hostages.
The terror group's English-language magazine "Dabiq" published photos on Wednesday seemingly showing the bodies of Norwegian citizen Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad and Chinese citizen Fan Jinghui.
"We condemn the killing," Solberg said, noting that the government was still seeking further confirmation. Norway's foreign minister said there was no reason to doubt the contents of the photo, however.
A 'common enemy'
Xi, speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila on Thursday, responded firmly to the killings, shortly after the China's foreign ministry website posted a statement saying the government was "shocked."
"China strongly condemns the brutality of the killing of Chinese national by the Islamic State extremists," Xi told the Xinhua news agency. "Terrorists are the common enemy of humankind."
Their murder came as Russia submitted a UN Security Council draft resolution to unite world powers in the fight against the terrorist group.
blc/msh (AFP, dpa, AP, Reuters)