The United Nations Security Council has denounced the beheading of a Japanese journalist by ISIL militants as a "heinous and cowardly” crime.
"This crime is, yet again, a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers journalists and others face every day in Syria," the 15-member world body said in a statement released on Sunday.
The Security Council "deplored" the purported murder of 47-year-old Kenji Goto.
On Saturday, the ISIL terrorists released a video showing Goto kneeling down while dressed in an orange jumpsuit in a similar fashion to a number of other ISIL victims, including Haruna Yukawa, another Japanese man decapitated earlier.
The video ended with a still photo of Goto’s body with his head resting on his back.
Goto, a respected journalist known for his work covering the suffering of civilians in war zones, was captured in Syria last October. He reportedly went to Syria to try to secure Yukawa's release.
In a video posted online earlier, the ISIL militants showed Goto saying he would be killed unless Jordan released female militant Sajida al-Rishawi, who is thought to have been behind an attack on a hotel in Jordan in 2005 and is on death row in Jordanian custody.
Japanese authorities had made efforts to no avail for the release of Goto and Yukawa from captivation by the ISIL terrorists, who initially demanded a $200 million ransom for release of the two.
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