Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Germany's World Cup title

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Farnborough air show takes off but F-35 jet is grounded

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Bastille Day celebrations

Read more

TOUR DE TECH

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll increases in Sierra Leone

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Viviane Reding, MEP, European People's Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Schulz returns to Parliament presidency: back to business as usual?

Read more

  • Live: France celebrates Bastille Day

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Boules and booze: Bastille Day à la New Yorkaise

    Read more

  • Kremlin mulls 'retaliatory strikes' after death of Russian civilian

    Read more

  • Senegal honours the soldiers who fought for France in WWI

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Operations underway to refloat shipwrecked Costa Concordia

    Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

Iraqi group release UK hostage video

©

Latest update : 2008-02-26

Al Arabiya television has released a video of one of five UK hostages held captive in Iraq by a Shia militant group, who are demanding the release of nine Iraqis in exchange for the liberation of the five Britons.

One of five Britons held hostage in Iraq since May was shown in a video aired on Tuesday by Al Arabiya television, which said the captive called for the release of nine Iraqis in return for their freedom.
 

The Britons -- a computer instructor and his four bodyguards -- were seized by a Shi'ite militant group from inside an Iraqi Finance Ministry building in a brazen raid in Baghdad last May.
 

"My name is Peter ... I have been held here for nearly eight months now," a man said on the undated video.
 

Arabiya said he called on British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to free nine Iraqis to gain the release of the five.
 

"It's as simple as that. It's a simple exchange of people ... That's all they want. Just to have their people released and we can go home," he said.
 

In a statement shown by the Dubai-based television station, a group calling itself the Shi'ite Islamic Resistance in Iraq said: "We are addressing you the British people and not your government because you are keener than your government and your Queen (for the release of the five)."
 

The statement indicated that some or all of the nine Iraqis were held by U.S.-forces but there was no confirmed information about their identity.
 

There was no sign of weapons or of militants in the video.
 

The hostage appeared tired but not distressed. He had a scraggly beard and wore what appeared to be a white and black
track suit.
 

"I miss my family a lot and the only thing I want is to get out of here. I tell Gordon Brown: Free their prisoners and we can go home," the man said in remarks dubbed into Arabic by the television.
 


 

"Distressing"
 

Britain condemned the video, which it said was distressing to the families of the hostages.
 

"We urge those holding the group to release them immediately," the Foreign Office said in a statement.
 

"No matter what the cause, holding hostages is never justified and is never a way of making progress on any issue," it said.
 

Militants holding the five Britons released a video last December showing another of the hostages, who identified himself as Jason, saying they would kill one of the five unless Britain withdrew its troops from Iraq.
 

The December video gave Britain a deadline of 10 days to withdraw its troops but there was no sign that any of the hostages were subsequently killed.
 

Most of Britain's troops are stationed in the mainly Shi'ite south of Iraq.
 

Britain, one of Washington's staunchest allies in Iraq, handed security to Iraqi forces on Dec. 16 for Basra, the last of the four provinces it controlled in the south.
 

At that time Britain had about 4,500 troops left in Iraq, less than 10 percent of the force sent by former Prime Minister Tony Blair to join the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003.
 

Blair's successor Brown has said the force will shrink to 2,500 by mid-2008, including a small training mission and a rapid response team on standby.

Date created : 2008-02-26

Comments

COMMENT(S)