May 09, 2005

Terrorists in Iraq nab Japanese hostage

The so-called Army of Ansar al-Sunnah claims to have grabbed Japanese national Akihiko Saito. They claim he is "severely injured," and have released a photocopy of his passport.

Iraqi militants claimed today they took a Japanese security contractor hostage after ambushing a convoy of foreigners and Iraqi troops in western Iraq.

The Ansar al-Sunnah Army identified the Japanese hostage as Akihito Saito, 44, and posted a photocopy of his passport, including his picture, on the group’s official website. It said Saito was “severely injured” in the fight.

The report could not be independently confirmed. Junji Gomakudo, First Secretary at the Japanese Embassy in Baghdad, said officials were trying to confirm a report of a kidnapped Japanese citizen but said they did not know if the claim was true.

The group posted other photo ID cards allegedly belonging to Saito, with one identifying him as a security manager of Hart GMSSCO, a British-based firm that provides security in Iraq. Another document seemed to be a weapons permit....

Japan’s Kyodo News agency said Saito was employed by a security firm from Cyprus and may have been working as a security officer at a US facility.

If all goes according to the terrorists' regular script, they'll kill the hostage as soon as they get a chance. More details as they become available, and full coverage can be found at The Jawa Report.
(More coverage from Blogs of War, In The Bullpen & others)

Posted by mhking at May 9, 2005 03:41 PM
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