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British Hostage Killed in Iraq - 2004-10-08

The British engineer kidnapped three weeks ago in Iraq, Kenneth Bigley, has been killed by his captors.

Mr. Bigley's family Friday confirmed reports that the 62-year-old hostage was murdered by the Muslim extremist group that was holding him. He was kidnapped September 16th in Baghdad, along with two Americans who were later beheaded.

A video showing Mr. Bigley's beheading was released today. His kidnappers had demanded that U.S.-led forces in Iraq free women prisoners from Iraqi jails.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed utter revulsion at the killing.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told reporters the government exchanged messages with the kidnappers through an intermediary, but that they refused to abandon their demand. The British government has said repeatedly it holds no women prisoners in Iraq.