World

Militant group threatens to kill Japan hostage, Jordan pilot in 24 hours

A man walks past screens displaying a television news programme showing an image of Kenji Goto, one of two Japanese citizens taken captive by Islamic State militants, on a street in Tokyo January 25, 2015. The Islamic State says Goto and a Jordanian pilot will be executed in 24 hours if a would-be suicide bomber was not freed from prison in Jordan. – Reuters pic, January 27, 2015.A man walks past screens displaying a television news programme showing an image of Kenji Goto, one of two Japanese citizens taken captive by Islamic State militants, on a street in Tokyo January 25, 2015. The Islamic State says Goto and a Jordanian pilot will be executed in 24 hours if a would-be suicide bomber was not freed from prison in Jordan. – Reuters pic, January 27, 2015.The Islamic State jihadist group threatened Tuesday to kill a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot within 24 hours unless Amman frees a jailed female militant.

A video released on jihadist websites shows a picture of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding a photograph of captured Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh.

A voiceover, purportedly by Goto, warns that Jordan is blocking the Japanese journalist's release by failing to free Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber on death row since 2006.

The statement says Goto and Kassasbeh will be killed within 24 hours if Rishawi is not freed, and urges the Japanese government to put pressure on Jordan.

It follows a video released last week in which the group claimed to have beheaded another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, and said Goto would be killed next if Rishawi was not freed.

Rishawi was sentenced to death by a Jordanian court in September 2006 in connection with triple hotel bomb attacks in Amman the previous year that killed 60 people. – AFP, January 27, 2015.

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