Prime Minister: Japan still working to free hostages - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Prime Minister: Japan still working to free hostages

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TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's prime minister says Japan is still working to free two hostages held by the Islamic State group, and he calls a new online video discussing their fate "outrageous and unforgiveable."

A purported message from the extremist group claimed one of the hostages has been killed and demanded a prisoner exchange for the other. But the post was deleted quickly and militants on a website affiliated with the Islamic State group disagreed about the message's authenticity.

The Associated Press could not verify the contents of the message, which varied greatly from previous videos released by the Islamic State group, which now holds a third of both Syria and Iraq.

The Islamic State group had threatened on Tuesday to behead the hostages within 72 hours unless it received a $200 million ransom.

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