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Islamic State hostage Kayla Mueller confirmed dead

President Barack Obama said Kayla Mueller represents what is best about America.

By Andrew V. Pestano
Islamic State hostage Kayla Mueller confirmed dead
Kayla Mueller. Photo courtesy of the Mueller family

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The family of Kayla Mueller, an American hostage of the Islamic State, has received confirmation that she is dead.

Mueller, 26, was captured in August 2013 while working as a humanitarian aide in Aleppo, Syria. The Islamic State demanded a $7 million ransom with a deadline of Aug. 13, 2014, but what happened to Mueller after the deadline is unknown.

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"We are heartbroken to share that we've received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her life," said a statement released by Mueller's family.

The Islamic State claimed last Friday that Mueller was killed in a Jordanian airstrike in Syria.

President Barack Obama released a statement confirming Mueller's death.

"It is with profound sadness that we have learned of the death of Kayla Jean Mueller," the statement said. "On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I convey our deepest condolences to Kayla's family -- her parents, Marsha and Carl, and her brother Eric and his family -- and all of those who loved Kayla dearly. At this time of unimaginable suffering, the country shares in their grief."

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Obama also condemned the Islamic State, calling it a "hateful and abhorrent terrorist group."

"No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla's captivity and death," Obama said.

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