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Jordan executes two militants in response to pilot's death

One of the executed was a female militant whose release had been demanded by the Islamic State group.

King Abdullah of Jordan. Picture: King Abdullah FB page.

AMMAN/WASHINGTON - Jordan has executed by hanging a jailed Iraqi woman militant whose release had been demanded by the Islamic State group that burnt a captured Jordanian pilot to death, a security source said on Wednesday.

Responding to the killing of the pilot, whose death was announced on Tuesday, the Jordanian authorities also executed another senior al Qaeda prisoner sentenced to death for plots to wage attacks against the pro-Western kingdom in the last decade.

Sajida al-Rishawi, the Iraqi woman militant, was sentenced to death for her role in a 2005 suicide bomb attack that killed 60 people.

Ziyad Karboli, an Iraqi al Qaeda operative, who was convicted in 2008 for killing a Jordanian, was also executed at dawn, the source said.

'COWARDLY ACT'

Jordan's King Abdullah said on Thursday the killing of pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh by Islamic State militants was an act of cowardly terror by a group that had nothing to do with Islam.

"This is a cowardly terror by a criminal group that has no relation to Islam ... It's the duty of all citizens to stand together," he said in a short televised appearance.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama will meet with the Abdullah at the White House today.

The meeting was added to Obama's schedule. The president earlier expressed condolences to the people of Jordan after Kasaesbeh was killed.

Obama vowed the US-led coalition would continue to fight Islamic State militants.

The US President praised Kasaesbeh for his bravery and said he was "in the vanguard of the effort to degrade and defeat the threat" posed by militants from Islamic State, also known as ISIL.

"Today, the coalition fights for everyone who has suffered from ISIL's inhumanity. It is their memory that invests us and our coalition partners with the undeterred resolve to see ISIL and its hateful ideology banished to the recesses of history," Obama said in a statement.

AL-KASAESBEH BURNT ALIVE

A video released by the militant group showed a man resembling the captive pilot standing in a black cage before being set ablaze.

Kasaesbeh has been in Islamic State captivity since his plane crashed over Syria in December.

The head of the Jordanian armed forces told his family he had been killed, a member of the family told Reuters.

In the video, the burned man wore orange clothes similar to those worn by other foreign Islamic State captives who have been killed since a US-led coalition started bombing the militants in July.

Islamic State has released videos showing the beheadings of several Western hostages and said that it has killed two Japanese captives.

The ultra-radical militants have come under increased military pressure from air strikes and by Kurdish and Iraqi troops pushing to reverse Islamic State's territorial gains in Iraq and Syria.