Alan Henning's wife makes new appeal to Islamic State

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Media captionBarbara Henning: "I ask Islamic State, please release him"

The wife of a British hostage being held by militants has made a renewed call for his release, saying there has been "outcry across the world" over his imprisonment.

Barbara Henning appealed directly to leaders of Islamic State (IS) for "mercy" for her husband Alan, who was captured in Syria in December.

Earlier this month, IS threatened to kill Mr Henning in a video showing the beheading of UK hostage David Haines.

Mrs Henning told IS: "He is innocent."

Reading a statement, Mrs Henning - who has previously sent public messages to IS - began: "I have a further message for Islamic State.

"We have not abandoned Alan and we continue in our attempts to communicate with you.

"I have had no contact from Islamic State holding Alan other than an audio file of him pleading for his life.

"Muslims across the globe continue to question Islamic State over Alan's fate."

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Mr Henning, 47, who has two children, was delivering aid to Syria when he was taken hostage.

His wife said some people thought her husband was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but she said: "He was in the right place doing the right thing."

She said her family was "at a loss" as to why IS leaders could not "open their hearts and minds to the truth about Alan's humanitarian motives for going to Syria".

She also said IS leaders were ignoring the "verdict of their own justice system" - in a previous statement she said she had been told a Sharia court found Mr Henning "innocent of being a spy".

"Surely those who wish to be seen as a state will act in a statesmanlike way by showing mercy," she added.

'We need him'

Asked what message she had for her husband, Mrs Henning said: "Alan, we miss you and we're dreadfully concerned for your safety.

"But we are given so much hope by the outcry across the world as to your imprisonment.

"I ask Islamic State, please release him. We need him back home. Thank you."

Mr Henning, a taxi driver from Eccles in Salford, appeared in the video which showed the death of Mr Haines.

IS has also released videos showing the beheadings of two US journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

A new video emerged on Monday showing British journalist John Cantlie, another IS hostage.

It is the latest of three videos of Mr Cantlie posted online. In it he reads a script criticising the American strategy in Iraq.

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