22 Jun 2009

Hostage bodies handed over to Britain

1:05 pm on 22 June 2009

Two bodies believed to be those of Britons taken hostage in 2007 have been handed to British officials in Iraq.

Computer instructor Peter Moore and his four British bodyguards were seized by a Shi'ite militant group from inside an Iraqi finance ministry building in Baghdad in May 2007.

An Iraqi government spokesman said the government believed the bodies were of two of the hostages.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the remains passed to them by Iraqi authorities had yet to be formally identified, but the hostages' families will "fear the worst".

Several videos of the hostages have surfaced since they were kidnapped, including two in February and March showing Mr Moore.

Britain was an ally of the United States in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but has now withdrawn all but about 500 troops from the country.