Families show unity at David Haines memorial

Former Army bikers attended the service for David Haines. Picture: Hemedia
Former Army bikers attended the service for David Haines. Picture: Hemedia
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THE families of two British hostages who were beheaded by Islamic militants have come together in a show of unity at a special service to celebrate the life of one of the murdered men.

Michael Haines called on people to join together and “find a single act of unity” in the wake of the barbaric killing of his brother, David Haines.

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

He had been been helping refugees in a camp near the Turkish border when he was snatched by Islamic State (IS) militants.

Tributes were paid to him a memorial service in Perth, which was also attended by the family of Alan Henning, who was also killed by IS.

His widow, Barbara, and two children travelled north to attend the service at Perth Congregational Church, which was described as a “service of thanksgiving and celebration for the life of David Haines”.

Mrs Henning and Michael Haines stood together and held hands outside the church before going in for the service, which was attended by more than 600 people.

In a joint letter published in the Guardian newspaper they called on people to come together in a bid to defeat the terrorists.

“Together we have the power to defeat the most hateful acts,” they said

“We condemn those who seek to drive us apart and spread hatred by attempting to place blame on Muslims and the Islamic faith for the actions of these terrorists,’’ the letter stated.

The pair said they have been overwhelmed by messages of support from around the world.