CAIRO: Egypt expressed Sunday its “deep concern” over the killing of a Japanese hostage by the Islamic State (IS) group Saturday, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty.
The group Twitter accounts released Friday a 2 minute, 52 second video in which one of the Japanese hostages, Kenji Goto, carried a photo of his compatriot captive Haruna Yukawa, being executed by militants, SITE Monitoring Service on Jihadist Threat reported Saturday.
“Egypt strongly and condemned the alleged brutal murder of one of the two Japanese who were captured by the terrorist Daash (IS group),” the statement said, adding that such “a barbaric incident contradicts the teachings of Islam.”
Abdel Atty offered Egypt’s condolences to the Japanese people and government over the alleged killing, and reiterated its stance of combating the terrorism.
The militant group demanded Jan. 20 a $200 million ransom and the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber who was accused of attempting to explode a hotel in Amman in 2005 who is now imprisoned in Jordan, in exchange for the release of the hostages.
The militants gave the Japanese government a three- day period to meet their demands in a Jan. 20 video, saying “you donated $200 million to kill our women and children and to destroy our homes.”
AP reported that Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said “the audio was still being studied, but there was no reason to deny the authenticity of the video.”
Abe announced on Jan. 17 that his country would provide the Middle East with $200 million in additional non-military and humanitarian aid to combat terrorism.
“The Government of Japan will carry out assistance of 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in non-military fields including humanitarian assistance and infrastructure development, intended for the entire region,” Abe said in a news conference held Saturday at the Japanese-Egyptian Business Council in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart Ibrahim Mahlab.
Four days ago, the Japanese Prime Minister visited Israeli officials in Israel and met with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledging to donate $100 million for Gaza reconstructions after the 51-day war between Israel and Palestine that took place in July 2014.
In an immediate comment on the alleged killing, Abe said in a statement that “We have been pursuing every possible means including all available diplomatic channels, first and foremost, to save lives of the two Japanese nationals. It is under these circumstances that an image, in which Mr. Haruna Yukawa seems to have been murdered, was uploaded online.”
“Fully aware of unbearable pain and sorrow that his family must be feeling, I am simply left speechless. Such act of terrorism is outrageous and impermissible, which causes me nothing but strong indignation. Thus I express resolute condemnation,” he added.
In similar execution videos from earlier in October, September and August, IS previously executed U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, a U.S. aid worker, and British aid workers David Cawthorne Haines and Alan Henning.