Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference in Oslo that the Norwegian man, named by the foreign ministry as Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, had most likely been killed. In September, Solberg said a Norwegian had been held hostage in Syria since January and was believed to be in the hands of Islamic State, which has seized large swathes of Syria and Iraq.

Foreign Minister Boerge Brende added that the government had no grounds to doubt the photos that had been published. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing was 'greatly shocked' by the reports, but was still seeking verification of the execution of the Chinese national.

In the previous issue of the Dabiq magazine, Islamic State showed pictures of two men who it said were Norwegian and Chinese, wearing yellow suits and with shaved heads. The latest issue of its magazine also carried a photo of what it said was the improvised bomb that brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula last month, killing all 224 people on board.

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