India body `probably hostage'

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India body `probably hostage'

A Scotland Yard officer due to investigate a body exhumed in Kashmir arrived in India yesterday as the local police chief said it was probably one of two British hostages kidnapped two years ago.

Gurbachan Jagat, director-general of police in India's Jammu and Kashmir state, said further tests were needed to establish if the body was that of Paul Wells from Nottingham or Keith Mangan from Middlesbrough.

But he added: "So far whatever characteristics have been noted on the body have matched whatever information we had of the hostages. It is probably one of the two Britons."

He said the body was definitely not that of a guerrilla commander who died 21 months ago, Zia-ud-Din, as local residents in the village in Kashmir's Anantnag valley had claimed.

Paul Wells, 26, and Keith Mangan, 35, together with American Donald Hutchings and German Dirk Hasert, were abducted by separatists while trekking through the Himalayas.

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