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Iraq hostage body 'to be returned'

The body of a British hostage who was kidnapped in Iraq five years ago could be returned to the UK, according to reports.

Alan McMenemy, a security guard from Glasgow, was snatched by gunmen along with three other guards and an IT expert they were protecting in 2007.

The Foreign Office said it was working with the Iraqi authorities to bring the "horrendous ordeal" to a close.

The bodyguards' protection target, Peter Moore, was released alive in December 2009, and the bodies of the three other guards were returned to Britain.

Alec MacLachlan, 30, from Llanelli, South Wales, Jason Swindlehurst, 38, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, and Jason Creswell, 39, originally from Glasgow, were abducted with 36-year-old computer expert Mr Moore and Mr McMenemy, who was 34 at the time of the kidnap.

They were snatched by militants posing as police at the Iraqi finance ministry in May 2007. The bodies of the three guards were passed to British authorities in Iraq in 2009. Mr Moore was released alive on December 30 the same year, 946 days after he was kidnapped.

A source working with the hostages' families said: "The fact that this statement has been made from the leadership of the group means that it must be taken seriously, and we remain of course very eager to see the return of Alan to the UK."

It was reported that Qais al-Khazali, the leader of the Shi'ite militia Asaib Ahel al-Haq, would release the body of Mr McMenemy without conditions.

Mr Moore told Channel 4 News: "It's obviously going to bring closure to the whole hostage situation of Iraq, in terms of the British side. We've been waiting for the body for a long time. When I was released I was told by Qais al-Khazali that the body would be released with me, and obviously that never happened.

"So I've been waiting for the body to be released. It's so long, it's never going to go away from any of our lives. But it is important to move on. We don't have to forget but we have to keep living, and this is the end of the chapter, sort of thing. It the end of the book."


From Belfast Telegraph