ISIS deadline expires today, Japan scrambles for ways to free hostages

January 22, 2015 11:48 PM

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TOKYO: Lacking clout and diplomatic reach in the Middle East, Japan scrambled on Thursday for ways to secure the release of two hostages held by the ISIS group, as two people with contacts there offered to try to negotiate.

The militants threatened in a video message to kill the hostages within 72 hours unless they receive $200 million. Based on the video's release time, that deadline would expire sometime on Friday.

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