Isis hostage crisis: Efforts to free pilot and Japanese journalist 'reach deadlock'

Pilot's family say they have not received word

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The Independent Online

Attempts to free a captive journalist from the militant Islamic State group have reached a "state of deadlock", Japan's deputy foreign minister has said.

A deadline for the handover of a female militant expired on Sunday after Jordan refused to complete the exchange without proof Muath al-Kaseasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, being held by the group, is still alive.

Al-Kaseasbeh's plane crashed over an Isis -controlled area of north-eastern Syria in December as he was carrying out US-led military coalition airstrikes against the extremists in September.

His family say they have still not received word of his condition.

"We are waiting," Jawad al-Kaseasbeh, a brother of the pilot, said. "We received nothing new, neither from the government nor from informal sources."

The hostage crisis began last week after militants threatened to kill Goto and fellow Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa in 72 hours unless Japan paid a £200 million pound ransom.

The militants later demanded the release of a female al-Qaeda prisoner, Sajida al-Rishawi, 44, who faces death by hanging for her role in a 2005 attack in Amman that killed 57 people.

Additional reporting by agencies