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Iraq army says man confesses to beheading Japanese

Written by: Staff

BAGHDAD, Mar 5 (Reuters) The Iraqi army said a man taken into custody, Ibnal Masriya, had confessed to beheading a Japanese backpacker in October 2004, Al-Iraqiya state television reported today.

The 24-year-old Japanese hostage, Shosei Koda, was killed when demands by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's militant group for Tokyo to pull out its troops were not met. His headless body was found by Iraqi police dumped in a street in Baghdad.

Japan has roughly 600 non-combat ground troops in Samawa, in the south.

Many Japanese blamed Koda for putting himself at risk despite the obvious danger and repeated government warnings against travel to Iraq.


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