Tokyo, SANA , Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization said they had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto.
“I feel intense indignation at this utterly cruel and despicable act of terrorism,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told an emergency Cabinet meeting early on Sunday , shortly after a video surfaced purporting to show the beheading of Goto, after the failure of international efforts to secure his release through a prisoner swap.
ISIS released the video showing a hooded man standing over Goto with a knife to his throat, followed by footage of a head put on the back of a human body. Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said the video appeared to be genuine, Reuters reported.
The video was released exactly a week after footage appearing to show the beheaded body of another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.
“I will never forgive these terrorists,” Abe said “Japan will work with the international community to bring those responsible for this crime to justice. Japan will never give in to terrorism.”
When ISIS first threatened Goto, 47, and Yukawa, 42, two weeks ago, it justified its move by citing Abe’s pledge of $200 million in aid to countries battling the militant group.
But in a show of defiance, Abe on Sunday vowed to increase Japan’s food, medicine and other humanitarian aid for the Middle East.
Iraqi Prime Minister, Haidar Abbadi condemned Sunday beheading of Japanese journalist Goto.
“We strongly condemn this cowardly criminal act perpetrated by ISIS.” Abbadi said in a statement Sunday, pointing out that this ugly crime necessitates more coordination and cooperation by the international community to eliminate ISIS terrorist organization.
US President Barack Obama said the United States condemned the “heinous murder” and would continue to work with allies to destroy ISIS.
Britain and France also condemned the killing.
Abe’s government had put high priority on seeking the release of Goto, a veteran war correspondent captured by the militants in late October when he went to Syria seeking Yukawa’s release.
ISIS , an offshoot of al Qaeda, has beheaded a number of Western journalists and aid workers, saying they were paying the price for their governments’ fight against the group.
It has also killed many local people, through beheadings, stonings and shootings, accusing them of violating their hardline interpretation of Islamic law.
Barry Temmo/ Ghossoun