Jordan executed two jihadist prisoners at dawn on Wednesday after vowing a harsh response to the Islamic State group’s murder of a Jordanian pilot, government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said.
Would-be Iraqi female suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and Iraqi Al-Qaeda member Ziad al-Karboli were executed at 4:00 am local time (0200 GMT), Momani told AFP.
Hours after a harrowing video emerged online purporting to show the captive and caged 26-year-old F-16 fighter pilot engulfed in flames, a security official said executions would begin at daybreak.
King Abdullah II, who was visiting Washington as the video came to light, recorded a televised address to his shocked and outraged nation.
The king, who was once in the military himself, described First Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh as a hero and vowed to take the battle to Islamic State extremists, who have executed several captives on camera in recent months, provoking worldwide revulsion.
“Jordan’s response will be earth-shattering,” Information Minister Mohammed Momani said on television, while the army and government vowed to avenge the pilot’s murder.
“Whoever doubted the unity of the Jordanian people, we will prove them wrong.”
US President Barack Obama, who hosted Abdullah in a hastily organised and brief Oval Office meeting, led widespread international condemnation of the latest graphic murder, decrying the “cowardice and depravity” of the Islamic State group.