IS video reminder of group's 'murderous barbarity': Cameron
The apparent murder of a Japanese hostage by Islamic State was a reminder of the group's 'murderous barbarity', British Prime Minister David Cameron said Saturday, as Japan scrambled to verify an online video.
"The reported brutal murder of Haruna Yukawa and the further threats made by ISIL are yet another reminder of the murderous barbarity of these terrorists," Cameron said in a statement issued by his Downing Street office.
Images of fellow Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding a photo apparently showing that Yukawa has been murdered have been posted online, but several supporters of the IS group on social media channels have contested the veracity of the video.
Prime Minister Cameron offered his "thoughts and prayers" to Yukawa's family and said that Britain "stands in solidarity with the Japanese people at this difficult time."
He also backed Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe's "firm stance" in dealing with IS, which demanded a $200 million ransom for the hostages' release.
Tokyo is under pressure from Britain and the United States to resist the group's cash demands, as both countries have a policy of never paying ransoms.
A video showing a black-robed IS militant threatening freelance journalist Goto and self-employed contractor Yukawa appeared online on Tuesday.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said that, if confirmed, the murder of Yukawa was a "barbaric and despicable act".
"This only serves to underline the depravity of ISIL: their brutality cannot be allowed to succeed," he added.
© 2015 AFP