Secret Talks in Jordan Try to Win Release of Hostages

BEIRUT (AP) -

Secret talks were underway Tuesday in Jordan in the presence of a Japanese envoy to secure the freedom of a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State terrorists and threatened with death within 24 hours.

The global efforts to free Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto and Jordanian Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh gained greater urgency with the release of the apparent ultimatum from the Islamic State group.

In the message, the terrorists say the two hostages will be killed within 24 hours unless Jordan frees Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman sentenced to death in Jordan for her involvement in a 2005 terrorist attack on a hotel that killed 60 people.

A member of Jordan’s parliament said the country was in indirect talks with the terrorists to secure the hostages’ release.