John Cantlie: British IS hostage 'believed to be still alive'

It is the first official confirmation that John Cantlie is believed to be alive

It is the first official confirmation that John Cantlie is believed to be alive

A British hostage held by Islamic State for seven years is still alive, according to the United Kingdom security minister.

British security minister Ben Wallace did not offer any more details in a briefing to reporters.

John Cantlie, a photojournalist from Hampshire, was kidnapped in Syria in 2012.

Fellow captive Javier Espinosa, a Spanish journalist, said Mr Foley had escaped from a room but waited for Mr Cantlie rather than run for freedom himself.

"I am told there is no new evidence or intelligence to suggest he is alive", our correspondent added.

"Whilst this is not substantiated at present, we continue to hope and pray that this turns out to be true", the statement read.

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Mr Cantlie is the last remaining United Kingdom hostage held by IS.

He was then kidnapped for a second time when he returned to the country towards the end of 2012.

Mr Cantlie was forced by Isil to front a series of propaganda videos where he spoke in English to the camera.

Cantlie, was covering the conflict on a freelance basis when he was taken by militants alongside American journalist James Foley.

News reports in July 2017, published shortly after Mosul had been retaken by Iraqi forces, suggested Mr Cantlie had been killed.

The last public sighting of Mr Cantlie was in a 2016 video but a Kurdish official said last month that he was still believed to be in Syria.

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