Washington: US President Barack Obama strongly denounced the murder of a Japanese citizen by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group and called for the release of other hostages.
"The US strongly condemns the brutal murder of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa by the terrorist group IS," the President said in a written statement on Saturday.
"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," the President said.
Obama reiterated the determination to defeat IS, 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 IS."
IS demanded Japan to pay a ransom of 200 million US 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 cannot be verified so far.