ISIS claims Jordan airstrike killed U.S. hostage

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BEIRUT (AP) – Jordan’s government says it’s highly skeptical of a statement attributed to Islamic State extremists — which says that an American woman being held hostage by the group was killed today.

According to the statement, Kayla Jean Mueller was killed in a Jordanian airstrike on the Islamic State stronghold in northern Syria. It also says no Islamic State militants were killed.

Mueller is a 26-year-old from Prescott, Arizona, who went to Syria to do aid work. She’s the only known U.S. hostage still held by the Islamic State.

If the death is confirmed, she would be the fourth American to die while in the hands of the militants. Two journalists and an aid worker were beheaded earlier.

U.S. officials say they are looking into the report. A spokeswoman for the National Security Council says the White House hasn’t yet seen any evidence to support the claim.

Earlier this week, the Islamic State militants released a video showing a captive Jordanian pilot being burned to death in a cage. The gruesome images sparked outrage in Jordan and across the region.