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Islamic State threatens to kill 2 Japanese hostages

Posted January. 21, 2015 07:07,   


Major foreign media outlets reported on Tuesday that the Sunni Muslim militia group Islamic State took two Japanese males as hostages and released a video, in which it threatens, saying, "You now have 72 hours to pressure your government into making a wise decision by paying the $200 million to save the lives of your citizens." It is the first time that ISIS threatens killings by taking Japanese citizens as hostages.

In the video released on the day, the Islamic State publicized the real names of the two Japanese hostages, Kenji Goto, a freelance journalist, and Haruna Yukawa, 42, who was detained in August last year. In the footage, a man covering his face with mask who uses British accent, appears with two Asians clad in orange prison uniform, and says “We took Japanese citizens as hostages because the Japanese government made stupid decision to help the West. If Japan rejects our demand for ransom, you will face nightmare.” The IS has so far beheaded five Westerners, including American journalist James Foley in August last year in an act of protest against the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. The Associated Press said on Tuesday that the man also appeared in a video of hostage beheading that was released in the past.

The Japanese government set up an emergency response team led by vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki.