TOKYO, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A Japanese citizen taken hostage in Iraq has been executed, the Kyodo news agency reported Saturday.
Shosei Koda, 24, was kidnapped last week, by the group linked to al-Qaida-affiliated militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The group posted a video on its Web site Wednesday giving the Japanese government 48 hours to withdrawn its troops from Iraq. Japan refused.
The Kyodo report was based on information received by the Japanese government early Saturday.
The government had been trying to ascertain Koda's whereabouts and his mother and brother appealed for his life on Arab television.