Jordan executed two Iraqi prisoners Wednesday, in answer to the Islamic State group’s killing of a Jordanian hostage in Syria.
Jordanian officials hanged an Iraqi woman sentenced to death for her role in a 2005 suicide bombing in Amman. It also executed another Iraqi who had ties to al-Qaida.
Jordan’s King Abdullah has promised a “relentless” war against Islamic State on the group’s own territory.
The Islamic State group had demanded the Iraqi woman’s release as part of a prisoner exchange. Jordan said it had to first have proof that the Jordanian pilot was still alive.
A video appeared online Tuesday reportedly showing the pilot trapped inside a cage. A militant lit gasoline on fire and burned him to death.
Jordanian officials said the execution took place a month ago.
Militants captured the pilot in Syria after his plane went down. He was serving in the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State targets.
25 killed in plane crash near Taipei
A TransAsia passenger airplane crashed into the Keelung River near Taipei Wednesday. At least 25 people were killed. Others are missing.
Rescue workers in boats surrounded the plane and pulled out at least 15 passengers to safety, including a young child.
Video recordings of the crash showed the plane narrowly missing several tall buildings where people live. The plane did hit a taxi on a road. The driver received minor injuries.
A similar airplane crashed on the Taiwanese island of Penghu last July. Forty-eight people were killed.
Somalia says al-Shabab leader killed in drone strike
Somalia says a U.S. drone strike on Saturday killed its target, al-Shabab commander Yusuf Dheeg.
The government said in a statement Wednesday that he died with other al-Shabab commanders in the southern town of Dinsor.
A source in the militant group confirmed Yusuf Dheeg's death to the VOA Somali Service. The Somali government says he was responsible for planning attacks inside and outside Somalia.
WHO reports a rise in Ebola cases in West Africa
The number of reported Ebola cases has increased for the first time this year.
The World Health Organization says 124 new cases were reported in the week ending February 1. There were 80 new cases in Sierra Leone, 39 in Guinea and five in Liberia.
On Wednesday the WHO said there is an urgent need to end the outbreak before the rainy season begins. Rural areas are harder to reach during that period.
Since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak there have been almost 22,500 reported cases in the three countries, and nearly 9,000 deaths.
The number of new cases had gone down for several weeks, raising hopes the outbreak was ending.
Words in the News
execute – v. to kill (someone) especially as punishment for a crime
relentless – adj. remaining strict or determined
cage – n. a box made of wire or metal bars
remote – adj. far away from other people, houses, cities, etc
transmission – n. the act or process by which something is spread or passed from one person or thing to another