Body passed to British embassy in Baghdad

A body believed to be of one of the British hostages killed in Iraq has been handed over to the UK embassy in Baghdad by the captors.

It is said to be either Alan McMenemy or Alec MacLachlan who, it is feared, were among four of the five captives taken in July 2007 to be murdered. According to defence and diplomatic sources the state of the body shows the victim has been dead for a while and may have been interred. Forensic tests will be needed to establish the body's identity.

There is no reason to suppose, the sources say, that the last of the five Britons taken by the gunmen, IT consultant Peter Moore, is not alive.

The bodies of two men who were shot dead, fellow security guards Jason Swindlehurst and Jason Creswell, have already been returned to the UK.

A Downing Street spokesman said Gordon Brown was "deeply saddened" by the news. He said the Prime Minister would "leave no stone unturned in the Government's efforts to secure the release of the remaining hostages".

The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said it was not possible to "definitively confirm" the identity of the victim. But he added: "My thoughts and those of all of my colleagues in Government are, of course, with the families of the British men kidnapped in Iraq."

Peter Moore's father, Graeme, said last night: "This is another sad episode in this very sad situation and unfortunately it reminds us that the Government's policy on this matter has failed. I am very, very sorry for the family of this poor man and cling to the reassurance that it is not Peter. We also cling to hope that it is not Peter.

"Nothing will bring back these boys, but when all this is over, and Peter is back home safe, I hope a proper inquiry is held into what went on."

According to one source, Mr Moore had been separated from his fellow hostages several months ago and, at one stage, was being held outside Baghdad.

Mr Swindlehurst, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, and Mr Creswell, 39, originally from Glasgow, suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Forensic examinations found no signs they had been ill or were being starved.

The kidnappers, who belong to a group calling itself Asaib al-Haq, or the Band of the Righteous, are believed to have indicated in mid-July that they were prepared to hand over two more bodies. The British government has a declared official policy of not negotiating with kidnappers.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Technician - 1st Line

£19000 - £21000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPOR...

Special Needs Teaching Assistant

£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Special Educational Needs Teach...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

Year 3 Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 TeacherWould you like ...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London