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Jordan ready to free Iraqi militant if pilot is released

Jordan ready to free Iraqi militant if pilot is released
Jordan said on Wednesday that it was willing to hand over an Iraqi woman detained for her role in a 2005 suicide bombing in Amman if a Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State was released.

“Jordan is ready to release prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi if the Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Muath al-Kasaesbeh was released and his life spared,” Mohammad al-Momani, a government spokesman, was quoted on state television as saying.

He did not make any reference to Japanese hostage Kenji Goto who said in a video on Tuesday that Islamic State had given Jordan 24 hours to release the Iraqi militant or the pilot would be killed. However, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday said that they were working closely with Jordan for the early release of captives held by Islamic State.

Momani said Jordan’s priority was to secure the release of the pilot, who hails from a Jordanian tribe that forms the backbone of support for the Hashemite monarchy.

Several hundred people, including relatives of the pilot, gathered in front of the office of Jordan’s prime minister late on Tuesday urging authorities to meet the demands of Islamic State and release al–Rishawi.

Kasaesbeh was captured after his jet crashed in north-eastern Syria in December during a bombing mission against the militants.

Agencies

Agencies

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