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British Hostage Bigley Confirmed Dead In Iraq

8 October 2004 -- The family of Kenneth Bigley, the British engineer taken hostage in Iraq last month, says it has "absolute proof" he is dead.

Bigley's younger brother Phil today confirmed reports the Briton has been killed by his captors. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said shortly afterwards that Bigley was the victim of a "barbaric murder."

News agencies are reporting that a video released by Islamist militants shows the beheading of Bigley. It was not immediately clear when the killing occurred.

In the video, a man says in Arabic that Bigley was executed because Britain did not meet the militants' demand to release Iraqi women detained by the U.S.-led command in Iraq.

Bigley was abducted on 16 September with two American co-workers from their residence in Baghdad. The two Americans have since been beheaded by their captors.