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UN chief slams murder of US journalist Steven Sotloff

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that the world was “outraged” at the beheading of journalist Steven Sotloff in a video released by ISIS.

“We are all outraged at reports from Iraq about the brutal killing of civilians by ISIL (IS), including yesterday’s reported brutal beheading of another journalist,” he said in New Zealand.

The UN chief described the situation in Iraq, where IS extremists have seized territory in the north and west of the country, as “abhorrent” and called on religious leaders “to stand up for tolerance, mutual respect and non-violence”.

ISIS murdered a second American reporter, releasing another video Tuesday showing a masked militant with a British accent cutting the throat of a US captive.

Word of Mr. Sotloff’s beheading came two weeks after James Foley, another American journalist, was beheaded by ISIS.

The White House and State Department said intelligence officials are working quickly to determine the video’s authenticity. If it is genuine, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “We are sickened by this brutal act.”

U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle urged tough and swift action in response.