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Kyodo: Al-Zarqawi Group Kills Japanese Hostage


Japan's Kyodo news agency says a 24-year-old Japanese man kidnapped in Iraq by loyalists of wanted terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed.

Citing government sources, Kyodo said the body of a man found Friday in the northern city of Tikrit has been identified as that of Shosei Koda. He was abducted Tuesday and threatened with death unless Japan's troops left Iraq within 48 hours.

But in Tokyo, a foreign ministry spokesman said the body resembles the missing man, but has not yet been positively identified.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan officials are checking a report that a militant group in Iraq has abducted a Sri Lankan and a Bangladeshi truck driver.

Militants have kidnapped dozens of foreigners in Iraq. Thursday a Polish-Iraqi woman was kidnapped, and last week, a British-Iraqi aid worker was snatched in Baghdad.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP.