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Jordanian pilot held hostage by Islamic State 'burned alive'

The video appears to show Maaz al-Kassasbeh locked in a metal cage.

Anwar al-Tarawneh, center, the wife of the Jordanian pilot holds a poster of him, with Arabic that reads,
Anwar al-Tarawneh, center, the wife of the Jordanian pilot holds a poster of him, with Arabic that reads, "we are all Muath,"
Image: AP/Press Association Images

Updated 10.39pm

The Islamic State group released a video Tuesday purportedly showing a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage, in the jihadists’ most brutal execution yet of a foreign hostage.

The highly choreographed 22-minute video released online showed images of a man purported to be First Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh, captured in December, engulfed in flames.

King Abdullah II cut short a visit to Washington to fly home, state television said, as Amman confirmed the death of the 26-year-old fighter pilot and vowed an “earth-shattering response”.

The video, whose authenticity was not immediately verified, enraged officials and the army in Jordan vowed to avenge the murder of the 26-year-old pilot.

A security official said an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber on death row, Sajida al-Rishawi, and other jihadists will be executed at dawn on Wednesday.
The official said:

The death sentence will be carried out on a group of jihadists, starting with Rishawi, as well as Iraqi Al-Qaeda operative Ziad Karbuli and others who attacked Jordan’s interests.

State television said Kassasbeh had already been killed on January 3, before IS offered to spare his life and free a Japanese journalist in return for Rishawi’s release.

US President Barack Obama denounced the apparent killing as “just one more indication of the viciousness (and) barbarity” of IS.

The United States will “redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of the global coalition to make sure” the group is “ultimately defeated”, he added.

The White House said US intelligence was working to confirm the video’s authenticity.

- © AFP, 2015 .

Read: Japan mourns murdered journalist but vows to continue fighting terrorism >

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