Africa

IS claims to have burned Jordanian pilot alive

The Islamic State group released a video on Tuesday purportedly showing the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot it had captured in December.

The video released online showed images of a man purported to be Maaz al-Kassasbeh engulfed in flames inside a metal cage.

Kassasbeh was captured on December 24 after his F-16 jet crashed while on a mission over northern Syria as part of the US-led coalition campaign against the jihadists.

The highly produced, 22-minute video shows footage of Kassasbeh sitting at a table discussing coalition operations against IS, with flags from the various Western and Arab countries in the alliance projected in the background.

It then shows Kassasbeh dressed in an orange jumpsuit and surrounded by armed and masked IS fighters in camouflage. It cuts to him standing inside the cage and apparently doused in petrol before he is burned alive.

The Sunni Muslim extremist group had threatened to kill Kassasbeh unless Jordan handed over a jailed Iraqi female suicide bomber.

The release of the video of the pilot’s purported murder came days after IS beheaded a second Japanese hostage within a week.

IS had vowed to kill the second Japanese man, Kenji Goto, and Kassasbeh by sunset on January 29 unless Amman handed over Iraqi jihadist and would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi, who is on death row in Jordan.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain are taking part in the coalition air strikes in Syria. Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France and the Netherlands are participating in Iraq.

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