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Iraq Transition

Japanese hostage killed by captors


long.saito.jpg
Saito pictured in 1995 when in the French foreign legion.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The Iraqi government has confirmed that Japanese hostage Akihiko Saito has been killed by his captors.

Saito, who worked in Iraq for a British security company, was among five foreign workers ambushed by insurgents in the Anbar province west of Baghdad in early May.

The other four were confirmed dead.

An Islamic Web site previously used to publish insurgent announcements posted a video showing Saito before and after his his death.

Iraqi Minister for National Security Affairs Abdul Karim Al-Inzi said there were "significant efforts" by the Japanese and Iraqi governments to gain Saito's release but that "the killing happened before they were able to reach a solution with the kidnappers."

"At the same time, this horrific act will not effect relationships between the Iraqi and Japanese governments," al-Inzi said.

"We reaffirm our commitment to stopping all acts of terror in our country and establish security and stability in Iraq once again."


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