UK & World News

  • 6 September 2014, 1:17

Hostage David Haines' Family Under Police Guard

The Croatian family of David Haines, the British hostage held by Islamic State, are receiving 24 hour police protection, Sky sources say.

Mr Haines, who has a wife and four-year-old daughter in Zagreb, was threatened with death in the recently released video of the beheading of US journalistSteven Sotloff.

The aid worker was taken from a refugee camp close to the Syrian border with Turkey in March 2013.

The 44-year-old has worked for aid agencies in some of the world's worst trouble spots, including Libya and South Sudan.

He also has a teenage daughter in Scotland from a previous marriage.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, announced the formation of a "core coalition" to tackle IS militants, who have seized control of much of northern Iraq and Syria.

Speaking at the Nato summit in Newport, he urged the United Kingdom, France and Australia, as well as other nations, to provide the air power, intelligence, weapons and equipment to go after the group inside Iraq.

And Iraqi officials said an airstrikehad killed a senior aide of IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday ruled out paying a ransom to the militants for Mr Haines' release, describing such payments as "utterly self-defeating".

He acknowledged it was a "desperately difficult situation" and said he was personally overseeing efforts to bring the aid worker home safely.

Mr Haines' Croatian wife earlier told The Daily Telegraph: "He's everything to us. He's our life. He's a fantastic man and father.

"Nobody can understand how we are feeling. My daughter keeps asking about him every day. She hasn't seen her father for a year and a half. She has gone through so much. She sees me crying all the time," Dragana Prodanovic Haines said at the family's home near Zagreb.

The ACTED charity which employs Mr Haines said it was "deeply shocked" by the images of the aid worker being threatened.

"The threats on David Haines' life are intolerable," it added.

Muslim religious leaders across Scotland are using Friday prayers to call for the release of all hostages held by IS.

A joint statement from the Muslim Council of Scotland, Islamic Society of Britain and Glasgow Central Mosque, said: "We send our heartfelt sympathies to the families of those who have been killed at the murderous hands of IS - regardless of where they are from or what their religion.

"The actions of IS are against the teachings of Islam and therefore supporting or joining such an organisation is unacceptable.

"We call for the immediate release of all hostages held by IS and pray for all of those killed, injured or harmed by extremism the world over."

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