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Thousands rally in Jordan demanding revenge for pilot’s death

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

Thousands of Jordanians packed the streets of the capital Amman on Friday, urging their monarch to step up air strikes on Islamic State to avenge its killing of pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh.

Crowds massed near the main Husseini mosque, then marched chanting “Death to Daesh,” using an Arabic acronym for the jihadist group, in the latest sign of mounting public anger.

The rally came three days after Islamic State released a video purporting to show Kasaesbeh being burned alive in a cage as masked militants in camouflage uniforms looked on.

Many Jordanians have opposed their country’s involvement in US-led air campaign against Islamic State positions, fearing retaliation. But the killing of the recently-married pilot, from an influential Jordanian tribe, has increased support for the military push.

Jordanian fighter jets pounded Islamic State targets in Syria on Thursday, before roaring Kasaesbeh’s hometown.

Queen Rania, the wife of King Abdullah, joined Friday’s marchers, carrying a picture of the pilot.

“Mouath died standing for his country and faith, defending our common humanity. We are united in our grief and pride in our brave martyr,” she told Reuters in a statement.

“Jordan is united in it’s resolve to confront this ideology of terror and ultra-violence,” she added.

Protesters wearing the red Arab Bedouin headdress, chanted: “We sacrifice our souls for you O’Majesty.”

“All of Jordan’s people are behind you Your Majesty,” read a placard by a group of tribal Jordanians who came the country’s northern Bedouin areas of Mafraq.

Hundreds of mosques in Jordan held prayers for the pilot. Clerics attacked the hardline group describing it as un-Islamic and said it’s brutal means made many turn against it.

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