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Alan Henning's wife pleads for the IS to release her 'peaceful, selfless' husband

Barbara Henning said she could not see how her husband's death could further any cause and said she had sent messages to the IS group
Alan Henning was abducted by IS militants shortly after crossing into Syria from Turkey last year (AFP)

The wife of a British aid worker being held hostage by Islamic State (IS) militants has urged his captors to release him, saying she could not see how his death could assist any cause.

Alan Henning, a taxi driver from Manchester who volunteered to drive a humanitarian aid convoy to Syria for a Muslim charity, was abducted 10 months ago and is in the hands of the IS group.

In a statement released through Britain's Foreign Office, Barbara Henning urged his captors to "see it in their hearts to release my husband".

The 47-year-old father of two teenage children was shown in the same video released a week ago that documented the gruesome murder of fellow Briton David Haines.

"Alan is a peaceful, selfless man who left his family and his job as a taxi driver in the UK to drive in a convoy all the way to Syria with his Muslim colleagues and friends to help those most in need," his wife said.

"When he was taken he was driving an ambulance full of food and water to be handed out to anyone in need.

"His purpose for being there was no more and no less. This was an act of sheer compassion.

"I cannot see how it could assist any state's cause to allow the world to see a man like Alan dying."

Barbara Henning said she had been trying to communicate with IS and had sent some "really important messages" but had received no response.

"I pray that the people holding Alan respond to my messages and contact me before it is too late," she said.

"When they hear this message I implore the people of the Islamic State to see it in their hearts to release my husband Alan Henning."

Henning joined a group of Muslim friends who founded the charity "Aid4Syria" and even had the name tattooed on his arm.

There have been no updates on his situation since he appeared in the IS execution video of British aid worker Haines last week.