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Saudi king says Jordan pilot murder 'inhuman, contrary to Islam'

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman on Wednesday called the burning alive of a Jordanian fighter pilot “inhuman and contrary to Islam”.

In a message of condolence to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, he said the kingdom “learned with profound sadness of the martyrdom of Maaz al-Kassasbeh”.

Salman condemned the “odious crime” which he said was against all values of humanity.

Saudi Arabia, whose monarchs carry the title “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,” is the birthplace of Islam and home to its holiest sites.

Salman acceded to the throne on January 23 after the death of his predecessor Abdullah.

Like Jordan, Saudi Arabia since September has been part of the United States-led coalition carrying out air strikes against extremists of the Islamic State group who have seized parts of Syria and Iraq.

In a video posted online Tuesday, IS claimed to have killed Kassasbeh, 26, by burning him alive in a cage.

His plane went down in Syria in December.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency, citing an official source on Wednesday, urged the international community “to intensify its efforts to fight terrorism in all its forms, whatever its origins,” after Kassasbeh’s murder. -AFP

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