Body of possible British hostage returned

Sept. 3, 2009 at 8:39 AM
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BAGHDAD, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A body believed to be one of the five British hostages kidnapped in Baghdad two years ago has been handed over to Iraqi officials, British diplomats say.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the body had not been identified as of Wednesday but he did not believe it to be that of Peter Moore, thought to be the only survivor from the British group, The Times of London said Thursday.

The bodies of Jason Swindlehurst and Jason Creswell, were handed to Iraqi authorities in June. The bodies of two others, Alan McMenemy and Alec Maclachlan, have not been recovered although British officials think they also are dead.

The four were security guards hired to protect Moore, a computer consultant.

The five men were seized in May 2007 when 40 gunmen in Iraqi police uniforms stormed the Finance Ministry building in Baghdad

The little known "Band of the Righteous" group had demanded the release of 10 militants from U.S. custody as a condition for the hostages' release. It was the release of one of them that prompted the group to hand over the first two bodies in June.

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