Families Grieve Over Hostage Deaths

The families of the five British hostages who were kidnapped in Iraq were said to be “deeply upset” today upon hearing that two of the men have died in captivity.

Sources from the Government reported that the security guards Alec Maclachlan, from south Wales, and Alan McMenemy, from Glasgow, are thought to be dead. They were kidnapped over two years ago in May 2007 along with three other men; two of these men have since been shot and killed, with their bodies being released. The well being of the fifth man, Peter Moore, from Lincoln, is currently unknown.

The Foreign Office is still allegedly trying to secure the release of any remaining hostages. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson insists that British officers are doing their “absolute level best” through several different mediums to bring the men to safety. He did admit, however, that they were extremely concerned.

The families were apparently informed of the probable deaths of Mr Maclachlan and Mr McMenemy last week.

The hostages were all working as security guards for IT consultant Mr Moore, 36. He had been working for Bearingpoint, an American management consultancy in Iraq. Around 40 Iraqi men disguised as policemen captured the group at Baghdad’s Ministry of Finance during May 2007.

The captors are believed to belong to an obscure Iraqi militia group called Islamic Shia Resistance. They have demanded for up to nine members of their group to be released from US military custody, who have been held since early 2007.

When Jason Creswell and Jason Swindlehurst’s bodies were released a month ago, the kidnappers declared that they had two more bodies. At the time, these claims could not be verified, however the Foreign Office now believes it to be true and are focusing their efforts on securing the release of Mr Moore.

The last proof of life seen was a video released by the group in March 2009, however we cannot be sure when this video was made. The Foreign Office insists that Iraqi authorities have been the lead negotiators and that the British Government have not been directly involved.

This has been the longest running crisis involving British hostages for 20 years.

London escorts have been reminded by this situation that they must be alert of their own safety and are careful not to put themselves at risk of hostage situations.