A video has emerged online which shows the "Islamic State" group threatening to kill two Japanese hostages. The jihadists are demanding a $200 million (172,764 euros) ransom in the next 72 hours.
The video, identified as being made by the "Islamic State" (IS) group's al-Furqan media arm, was posted on militant websites associated with the extremist group.
The two hostages in orange jumpsuits were identified by the militants as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa. Japanese officials had no immediate comment on the video.
The man speaking in the video whilst brandishing a knife resembles and sounds like a British militant who has been involved in previous beheadings by the Islamic State group.
The militant in the video said the Japanese were targeted over Tokyo's financial support for Western military efforts against it.
"You have proudly donated $100 million to kill our women and children, to destroy the homes of the Muslims," the militant said.
"You now have 72 hours to pressure your government into making a wise decision by paying the $200 million to save the lives of your citizens," he added.
Islamic state, which holds a large swathe of Iraq and Syria under its control as a self-declared caliphate, has already beheaded and shot dead hundreds of captives, most of whom were Syrian and Iraqi soldiers.
The militants are also currently holding British photojournalist John Cantlie and a 26-year-old woman who was captured last year in Syria where she was working for aid groups.
ksb/rc (AP, AFP, dpa)