‘David Haines killers are cowards’ says widow

Dragana Haines said she could not watch the video. Picture: Sky News

Dragana Haines said she could not watch the video. Picture: Sky News

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THE widow of a Scottish aid worker who was murdered by Islamic State (IS) extremists has branded his killers “cowards”.

Dragana Haines, whose husband David was killed by the militants in a graphic video posted online in September, said she could not bear to watch the footage in its entirety.

It comes after British-born photographer Luke Somers, 33, a US citizen who was held hostage for more than a year by al-Qaeda, was killed by his captors during a second rescue attempt by the US military.

Father-of-two Mr Haines was taken hostage in Syria while working for international relief agency Acted in March last year.

The former RAF aircraft engineer was born in Holderness in East Yorkshire and brought up in Perth by his parents Herbert, 77, and Mary, 79. He studied at Perth Academy before joining the military aged 17, going on to spend the majority of his career as an aid worker.

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The 44-year-old had been been helping refugees in a camp near the Turkish border when he was snatched by IS militants.

Speaking in Croatia, Mrs Haines, 45, said: “They consider themselves brave, but that’s not bravery. It’s a cowardly act to behead someone who has his hands tied behind his back, who is kneeling.

“You are a coward if you are going to behead someone who is helpless. You’re not even a human being. You must be a monster to do something like that.”

In the interview with Sky News, she added: “I saw him in the video. I just saw the part when he was talking. I never found enough strength to see the rest of the video. I don’t want to see it.”

Mr Haines’ death was among a string of similar murders by IS, which also killed another British captive and three American hostages in videos released on social media.

IS posted the series of videos online showing the separate murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, US aid worker Peter Kassig and British aid volunteer Alan Henning.

Footage claiming to show Mr Henning’s murder appeared on the internet just days after the UK joined US-led air strikes against the terrorists in Iraq.

Another Briton, photojournalist John Cantlie, has appeared in several propaganda videos for the extremists, while his family has appealed for them to make direct contact.

Further details emerged yesterday of those killed in the US-led failed rescue mission in Yemen in which Mr Somers and another hostage lost their lives.

A woman, a ten-year-old boy and a local al-Qaeda leader were among at least 11 people killed alongside Mr Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie, 56, in the raid.

US special forces entered the village of Dafaar in southern Yemen, shortly after midnight on Saturday, killing several militants. As the special forces battled militants in a house, Mr Somers and Mr Korkie were shot and killed by their captors in another building.

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