The Islamic State extremist group claimed on Wednesday to be holding one Chinese and one Norwegian hostage.
The announcement, which appeared in the latest issue of the jihadist group’s English-language propaganda magazine Dabiq, was accompanied by advertisements showing the men “for sale” in what they describe as a “limited time offer.”
No details are offered on how or when the hostages—48-year-old Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad and Fan Jinghui, a 50-year-old freelance consultant from Beijing—were captured or how much money they are seeking for their release.
Beneath the men’s images, a statement reads: “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.”
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed that one of the country’s citizen’s had been taken hostage, and said that the government is actively seeking his release.
Grimsgaard-Ofstad’s final Facebook update before his disappearance placed him in Idlib, Syria in January this year. He said he was “going to Hama tomorrow.” Hama, 213 kilometers north of Damascus in the country’s central west, is known as one of the main arenas of the Syrian civil war.
So far, no statement has been released by the Chinese government.