IS threatens Japanese hostages in video; PM Shinzo Abe urges immediate release

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Jerusalem, Jan 20 (ANI): The militant Islamic State group, which holds territory in Iraq and Syria, issued a video online on Tuesday (January 20), purporting to show two Japanese captives and demanding $200 million (USD) from the Japanese government to save their lives. The clip showed a figure wearing black clothing and holding a knife, standing along with two kneeling men wearing orange clothes. The militant did not specify a currency, but an Arabic subtitle identified it as US dollars. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the threat was unacceptable and demanded their safe return. Abe on Saturday (January 17) pledged $200 million in non-military aid for countries contending with fighting Islamic State. Abe said the aid had nothing to do with curbing IS extremists. The militant, who spoke with a British accent, appeared to have the same voice as a jihadist shown threatening captives in previous Islamic State videos.

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