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Islamic State Militants Claim Killing Of Japanese Hostage


The Islamic State (IS) militant group has claimed responsibility for killing Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa.

The January 25 claim came one day after the release of a video announcing the murder of Yukawa.

The Al-Bayan radio station, which broadcasts to areas in Syria and Iraq controlled by Islamic State, announced that IS "executed Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa after the expiry of the deadline given."

IS threatened on January 20 to kill Yukawa and another Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto, unless Japan paid a $200-million ransom within 72 hours.

The IS has changed its demand for freeeing for Goto, now saying it wants the release of Al-Qaeda-linked attempted female suicide bomber Sajida Rishwai -- an Iraqi held in Jordan -- instead of money.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has demanded the unconditional release of Goto and called the execution of Yukawa "outrageous and unforgiveable."

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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