The Takfiri ISIL terrorist group has threatened to kill two Japanese hostages unless Tokyo pays a 200-million-dollar ransom within 72 hours.
In a video posted on websites linked to the ISIL terrorist group on Tuesday, a black-clad militant is seen standing between two hostages in orange jumpsuits and holding a knife while addressing the camera in English.
“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,” the militant says in the video.
He adds that the ransom demand is to compensate for the 200 million dollar that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged in non-military aid to support the campaign against the ISIL.
On Saturday, the Japanese prime minister said Tokyo would “newly carry out assistance of 2.5 billion US dollars in non-military fields including humanitarian assistance and infrastructure development, intended for the entire region.”
Speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem al-Quds on Tuesday, the Japanese premier urged the ISIL terrorist group to immediately release the two Japanese hostages unharmed.
“I strongly demand that they not be harmed and that they be immediately released. I am extremely indignant at such an act,” Abe said.
Meanwhile, chief Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Tuesday that Tokyo would not give in to terrorism.
“Our country’s stance contributing to the fight against terrorism without giving in remains unchanged,” Suga said.
He added that the Japanese government is checking the credibility of the video and “is determined to do its best to secure the release of the Japanese as soon as possible.”
One of the hostages appeared in a previous footage posted last August, in which he identified himself as Haruna Yukawa.
The second hostage is Kenji Goto, who is a freelance journalist.