WASHINGTON — U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday strongly denounced the murder of a Japanese citizen by the terrorist group ISIL and called for the release of other hostages.
“The United States strongly condemns the brutal murder of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa by the terrorist group ISIL,” the president said in a written statement.
“Our condolences today are with the people of Japan for their terrible loss. We renew our call for the immediate release of Kenji Goto and all other remaining hostages,” said Obama.
Obama reiterated the determination to defeat ISIL, saying “we will work together to bring the perpetrators of these murders to justice and will continue to take decisive action to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.”
ISIL demanded Japan to pay a ransom of 200 million U.S. dollars for the lives of the hostages of Haruna Yukawa, 42, a security contractor from Chiba Prefecture and Kenji Goto, 47, a freelance journalist from Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture according to a video released on YouTube earlier this week.
A video posted online Saturday showed that one of the two men held hostage by Islamic State jihadists had been executed, though the recording can not be verified so far.