Jordan king visits grieving family of executed pilot

AMMAN - Jordanian King Abdullah II personally paid his condolences Thursday to the family of the fighter pilot burned to death by the Islamic State group, after promising harsh revenge for his execution.

The king travelled to Karak, 120 kilometres (74 miles) south of the capital, the hometown of Maaz al-Kassasbeh, where a traditional mourning tent was set up for the family to receive guests, state television showed.

Hundreds of people, including representatives of the military and civilians, gathered as the king, wearing a red and white checked keffiyeh, sat next to the 26-year-old first lieutenant's father Safi al-Kassasbeh.

In tribute to the pilot, captured in December after his F-16 fighter jet went down in Syria, Jordanian warplanes flew overhead.

The king cut short a visit to the United States and flew back to Amman after the harrowing video emerged on Tuesday of Kassasbeh's killing.

Thursday's television report did not carry any remarks by the king during his visit to the Kassasbeh family, but he had previously said the "response of Jordan and its army after what happened to our dear son will be severe".