Islamic State releases another beheading video
MILITANTS from the Islamic State (IS) group released a third beheading video late on Saturday night, appearing to show the murder of British aid worker David Haines.
The film was titled "Message To The Allies of America" and appeared to show Mr Haines, who Isis threatened to kill in a previous video, kneeling in the desert.
UK Foreign Office staff issued a statement that they were urgently trying to verify the authenticity of the film but the presentation bore similarities to previous Isis films.
Speaking to the camera, the hostage identified as Mr Haines, 44, says: "I would like to declare that I hold you David Cameron entirely responsible for my execution."
He later adds: "Unfortunately it is we, the British public, who will pay the price for our parliament's selfish decisions."
Just as in the earlier videos released by Isis which showed the beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff in recent weeks, a man clad all in black speaks in the film before Mr Haines is apparently beheaded.
The man blames the United Kingdom for its involvement with the United States in the fightback against Isis in Iraq and Syria.
There were suggestions last night that he was the same masked man who has become known as "Jihadi John" in recent weeks, due to his English accent.
He says in the film: "If you, Cameron, persist in fighting the Islamic State, then you like your master Obama will have the blood of your people on your hands." At the end of the film, a second British hostage is shown and a threat is made that he will be next to be killed.
Isis have captured large swathes of Iraq and Syria and have urged Muslims from around the world to join them. Mr Haines was abducted while working in Syria in March 2013. A father of two daughters, he was living in Croatia before his kidnapping. He had previously worked in some of the world's most dangerous regions, in his role as an aid worker, including Libya and South Sudan.
The video was released after a day in which Mr Haines's family had made an attempt to contact his captors - although a statement released by the Foreign Office said that their requests for talks had been ignored. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond had said the government was doing "everything" it could to protect him.
Mr Foley's death was reported a month ago when Isis released its first "Message To America" video on the internet. Two weeks later Steven Sotloff was beheaded in a similar film. At the end of that second video, Mr Haines was shown in an orange jumpsuit and threatened with death.
The Foreign Office said last night it was working to verify the video.