• Kyodo

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The Jordanian government will release a statement on the hostage crisis and apparent murder of a Japanese national by the Islamic State militant group, a local English newspaper has reported.

Quoting an anonymous “well-informed security source,” the Jordan Times on Saturday reported the Middle Eastern country’s authorities were trying to determine the veracity of the audio potion of the video that purported to record speech by Kenji Goto in which the Japanese hostage apparently confirmed the execution of fellow Japanese captive Haruna Yukawa, and unveiled the group’s willingness to exchange Goto for a would-be suicide bomber on death row in Jordan.

The article on the daily’s website quoted the source as saying the authorities were “verifying the authenticity of the video and we will respond accordingly” and would “issue a statement then to keep the public abreast of all developments.”

Kyodo News contacted a public relations official of the Jordanian foreign ministry Sunday by phone, but the official declined to provide any coment on the hostage crisis.

In a static video apparently released by the extremist group on the Internet Saturday, a voice purported to be that of Goto, an independent journalist, revealed the group dropped its demand for a ransom of $200 million and now wants death-row inmate Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi released in exchange for the life of Goto.

The voice on the video also claimed Yukawa, a self-styled private security contractor, was murdered by the militants.

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