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Family of US hostage 'hopeful' she is alive despite IS claim she is dead

The US says it is skeptical and are investigating claims by Islamic State she was killed by an airstrike.

Kayla Mueller Kayla Mueller Source: AP

THE PARENTS OF a US hostage who Islamic State jihadists said died in a coalition airstrike on Friday said they were “hopeful” she was still alive and asked her captors to contact them.

The Islamists said Kayla Jean Mueller had been buried under rubble after a raid by a Jordanian warplane in the Syrian city of Raqa, but Washington said it had no proof to support the claim.

Mideast Jordan Islamic State In this image made from undated video provided by Jordanian military via Jordan TV, explosions go off as the military carried out airstrikes at an undisclosed location in Syria. Source: AP

The parents of the 26-year-old humanitarian worker appealed to her kidnappers to get in touch with them.

“This news leaves us concerned, yet, we are still hopeful that Kayla is alive. We have sent you a private message and ask that you respond to us privately,” Carl and Marsha Mueller said in a statement published on NBC News.

The family said they had been in touch with her captors in the past and made a public appeal Friday for her safe return.

Mueller, of Prescott, Arizona, is the only known remaining U.S. hostage held by the Islamic State group.

If the death is confirmed, she would be the fourth American to die while being held by Islamic State militants. Three other Americans — journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig — were beheaded by the group.

© AFP 2015. Additional reporting Associated Press 

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