An Arabic Web site says a deal is in the works for the release of five British hostages in Iraq and that one of them could be freed "very soon."
The Saudi-owned site Elaph quotes a leader of the extremist Asaib Ahl al-Haq group as saying a video recently sent to the British embassy showing one of the hostages is part of the deal.
The report quotes a mediator identified only as Abu Ali.
A senior aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki acknowledged today that contacts are under way to release the Britons, but denied a deal had been struck.
He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
A senior Shi'ite lawmaker says the contacts picked up pace two months ago.Reuse content