Japanese national captured by Islamist militants in Syria


ARA News

Islamic State supporters claimed on Sunday responsibility for kidnapping a Japanese national on charges of “spying for west”, but Japanese officials are still investigating the case.

Japanese officials said Monday they are investigating a video posted online that appears to show fighters in Syria roughly interrogating a kidnapped Japanese man.

The video, which surfaced over the weekend, shows a man who identifies himself as Haruna Yukawa lying on the ground with blood trickling down his face as his apparent captors, whose affiliation has not been confirmed, question him in English.

In the video he says he is a “photographer” and a “journalist, half doctor”.

“I’m no soldier,” he said in the video, which in some descriptions also accuses the man of being a fighter for the Free Syrian Army.

Japan’s foreign ministry said it was trying to verify the man’s identity through its embassy which is now operating in Jordan due to the instability in Syria.

“We are aware of what has been reported in social media and are trying to verify the information” a foreign ministry official told AFP.

No one has claimed responsibility for the apparent kidnapping, said the official.

A variety of Islamic State-supporting Twitter accounts have claimed the group is responsible for the kidnapping, with one claiming the man was executed.


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