Two Iraq hostages very likely dead: British PM



Two Iraq hostages very likely dead: British PM London: Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday said that two hostages from a group of Britons kidnapped two years ago in Baghdad were "very likely" dead.

Brown said he believed one hostage, Peter Moore, was still alive, and reiterated his call for the computer consultant to be released.

Moore and his four security guards were snatched in Baghdad in May 2007. He is now the only one thought still alive as the remains of two guards were handed over to Britain last month.

"I can confirm that on July 20, with great sadness, the government informed two families of those British men kidnapped in Iraq that Alan McMenemy and Alec MacLachlan, two of the three hostages still held, were very likely to be dead," Brown said in a statement.

"This is the worst of news, and my thoughts are with the families, whom I hope will be given the privacy they need to deal with their grief.”

"I and the entire government are committed to doing everything that we can for the release of Peter Moore, whom we still believe to be alive," Brown said.

"Hostage-taking is never justified and has no place in Iraq's future: I condemn it unreservedly, and once again call on the hostage-takers to release Peter Moore and give us clarity on the fates of Alec MacLachlan and Alan McMenemy."

Moore and the four security guards were kidnapped in the Iraqi Finance Ministry, in an audacious operation by around 40 heavily-armed militants posing as security personnel.

The bodies of two other guards, Jason Swindlehurst, 38, and Jason Creswell, 39, were handed over to the British embassy in Baghdad last month.

Bureau Report