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Video: IS beheads Japanese hostage Goto

By Agencies
Video: IS beheads Japanese hostage Goto

This image made from a video released by Islamic State militants on Jan31, 2015, purports to show a militant standing next to Japanese journalist Kenji Goto before his beheading by the militant group. Goto was captured in October 2014, after he traveled to Syria to try to win the release of Haruna Yukawa. (AP Photo)

Islamic State militants said they had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to vow to step up humanitarian aid to the group's opponents in the Middle East and help bring his killers to justice.

"I feel intense indignation at this utterly cruel and despicable act of terrorism," a grim-faced Abe told an emergency Cabinet meeting early on Sunday, shortly after a video surfaced purporting to show the beheading of Goto, after the failure of international efforts to secure his release through a prisoner swap.

The hardline Islamist group, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq, released the video showing a hooded man standing over Goto with a knife to his throat, followed by footage of a head put on the back of a human body. Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said the video appeared to be genuine.

The video was released exactly a week after footage appearing to show the beheaded body of another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.

When Islamic State first threatened Goto, 47, and Yukawa, 42, two weeks ago, it justified its move by citing Abe's pledge of $200 million in aid to countries battling the militant group.But in a show of defiance, Abe on Sunday vowed to increase Japan's food, medicine and other humanitarian aid for the Middle East.

Islamic State had said Goto was held along with a Jordanian pilot. Efforts to win their release had focused on the possible release in exchange of an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber jailed in Jordan 10 years ago. The video did not mention the pilot.

Video: IS beheads Japanese hostage Goto

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, third right, bows as he attends a ministerial meeting at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo Feb1, 2015 after the release of an online video that purported to show an Islamic State group militant beheading Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. Japan condemned with outrage and horror on Sunday the video posted on militant websites late Saturday Middle East time. (AP Photo)

Addressing Abe, the militant in the video said: "Because of your reckless decision to take part in an unwinnable war, this knife will not only slaughter Kenji, but will also carry on and cause carnage wherever your people are found. So let the nightmare for Japan begin."

Goto's mother Junko Ishido, who earlier had appealed for his safe release, said, "I am too upset to find the words to express myself. My son's last act was to go to Syria to help a fellow Japanese. So I want people to understand my son's kindness and courage."

Goto's older brother, Junichi Goto, said, "I had hoped to give thanks for his return alive. But, as his brother, this outcome is very regrettable."

 Video: IS beheads Japanese hostage Goto

Junko Ishido, mother of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, speaks during a press conference at her home in Tokyo, Feb1, 2015 after the release of an online video that purported to show an Islamic State group militant beheading her son. (AP Photo / Shizuo Kambayashi)

NO WORD ON PILOT

Worried relatives of a Jordanian fighter pilot have asked their government be more open about negotiations for his release, after a second Islamic State group hostage was shown beheaded in a video purportedly from the militants.

The fates of the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, previously had been linked. The video of the beheading made no mention of the pilot, raising fears for his life.

An uncle of the pilot, Yassin Rawashda, said early Sunday that "we want the government to tell us the truth." He says the family also wants to know which direction negotiations are headed.

Jordan is reportedly conducting indirect, behind-the-scenes negotiations through tribal leaders in neighboring Iraq. The Islamic State group holds about a third of Iraq and Syria.

Video: IS beheads Japanese hostage Goto

Members of Al-Kaseasbeh, the tribe of Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who is held by the Islamic State group militants, light candles by posters with his picture and Arabic that reads "we are all Muath," at the captured pilot's tribal gathering divan, in his home town of Karak, Jordan, Jan31, 2015. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

 
 
 
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