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Syria's children pay tribute to 'Uncle Gadget' Alan Henning

Children in Al-Dana have paid tribute to Alan Henning saying 'we will never forget you, because you never forgot us' in photos posted online
Alan Henning had traveled to Syria on a convoy to distribute aid to those affected by Syria's war (AFP)

A group of Syrian children have paid tribute to Alan Henning, the British hostage executed by Islamic State (IS) militants.

IS released a video on 4 October purportedly showing the execution of the British taxi driver who was kidnapped in Syria while on a voluntary aid convoy last December.

Children in the town of Al-Dana, in the northern province of Idlib, shared photos expressing their sorrow at his death in a moving tribute to a man celebrated for his commitment to helping those suffering in the Syrian civil war.

Henning is believed to have been abducted by IS militants in Al-Dana from where he was later moved around the IS prison network before appearing in the execution video of British aid worker David Haines on 13 September.

A fund has been set up with the permission of the Henning family “in memory of Alan for his children Adam and Lucy” by his fellow aid worker, Dr Shameela Islam-Zulfiqar.

“We want them [Henning’s children] to know that their father’s death was not in vain and that the work that Alan was so committed to will also continue,” the appeal statement reads. “A project will also be set up in Alan’s name eventually to benefit those that Alan died trying to help in Syria to ensure his legacy continues long after he was taken from us.”

In two days, the fund has raised over £18,000 and can be found online at the “Go Fund Me” website.

Henning’s widow Barbara said the family are “numb with grief” and that the murder was “news we hoped we would never hear”.

“I want to thank everyone who campaigned for Alan’s release, who held vigils to pray for his safe return and condemned those who took him,” she said in a statement after the video was published. “Your efforts were a great support to us, and we take comfort in knowing how many people stood beside us in hoping for the best.”

“We as a family are extremely proud of him and what he achieved and the people he helped.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned Henning’s “barbaric murder” and vowed his killer will be “hunted down and face justice”.