Secret talks in Jordan try to win release of hostages

Updated: 2015-01-28 09:33


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Secret talks in Jordan try to win release of hostages

Safi Yousef (C), father of Islamic State captive Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, speaks to the media as he takes part in a demonstration demanding that the Jordanian government negotiate with Islamic state and for the release of his son, in front of the prime minister's building in Amman, January 27, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also did not comment when asked while on his way to a meeting on the crisis. Abe will likely face questions about the crisis in parliament Wednesday.

Goto's mother expressed hope for his release, but also desperation.

"What has my child done wrong?" she said. "There's no more time."

The hostage saga involving the two Japanese nationals has stunned Japan and triggered criticism of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over his government's handling of the crisis. The militants have reportedly beheaded one Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.

The video matched a message released over the weekend, though neither bore the logo of the Islamic State group's al-Furqan media arm. The weekend video showed a still photo of Goto holding what appears to be a photo of Yukawa's body. It retracted a demand for $200 million in ransom for the two Japanese, made in an earlier online message.

The AP could not independently verify any of the videos. However, several militant websites affiliated with the Islamic State group referenced the latest video and posted links to it Tuesday.

The message holds the Jordanian government responsible for delaying the release of al-Rishawi and says that unless she is freed within 24 hours, the pilot, followed by Goto, will be killed, adding that this would be the group's last message.

"I have only 24 hours left to live and the pilot has even less," according to the audio, purportedly from Goto.

It is unclear why the group released only audio from Goto. Messages from other Western hostages held by the group have been read by the captives on camera.

After the video's release late Tuesday, Japanese officials held emergency meetings. Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said he had seen the video, but did not comment on its authenticity.