Islamic State hostage is from Arizona

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PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — A hostage at the center of a conflict involving Islamic State militants is an aid worker who grew up in Arizona and was driven by her calling to help children whose lives were ripped apart by war.

Kayla Mueller (MYOO'-lur) described her mission during a speech to the Prescott Kiwanis Club during a visit home in 2013. The Daily Courier of Prescott covered the event as Mueller talked about her overseas work.

Mueller talked about children who were killed and had their families torn apart by war — and said she had to act to ensure the suffering does not continue. At the time, Mueller was working with the humanitarian aid agency Support to Life.

A purported statement by the Islamic State group claimed Mueller was killed in a Jordanian airstrike on Friday in Syria. American officials said they were looking into the report.

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