Body of British hostage held by Iraqi militia is returned to embassy


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The Independent Online

The body of Alan McMenemy, a security guard who was taken hostage in Iraq five years ago, has been handed over to the British Embassy in Baghdad.

Mr McMenemy from Glasgow, was snatched by gunmen posing as police in the Iraqi Foreign Ministry with three colleagues and an IT expert, Peter Moore, who they were trying to protect in 2007.

Mr Moore was eventually released alive in December 2009 but the security men were killed in an attempt to escape their captors, it is thought. The bodies of the three other guards, Jason Swindlehurst, Jason Creswell and Alec MacLachlan, were also returned in 2009.

In a statement issued last night, David Cameron said it was "with great sadness" that he could confirm Mr McMenemy's body had finally been handed over. He said: "My thoughts are with Alan's family and friends at this time. They have waited so long for his return and I hope that this will allow them to find some peace after an ordeal that no family should ever have to suffer. At this time we should also take time to remember the families of Margaret Hassan and Ken Bigley, who are still waiting for the return of their loved ones."

Mr McMenemy's widow, Roseleen, said after the release of her husband's body: "Our families have suffered terrible uncertainty and distress over the past four years and eight months. We have worried about Alan every single minute of each waking day. We now know that we will shortly have Alan home again, this will allow us to properly grieve for him and we will draw some comfort from the fact that we have him home at last."