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Britain Says Receives Video Of Iraq Hostage

Kidnapped Briton Peter Moore in a 2008 video released by his captors
LONDON (Reuters) -- A video featuring one of five Britons taken hostage in Iraq almost two years ago has been handed to British officials, they said on March 21.

The Britons, a computer instructor -- Peter Moore -- and his four bodyguards, were seized by a Shi'ite militant group from inside an Iraqi Finance Ministry building in a raid in Baghdad in May 2007.

"We can confirm that we have received a video of one of the British hostages taken in 2007," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said. "We continue to work actively for the safe release of all the hostages."

The spokeswoman would not confirm any details of what was on the video, or when and how it had been received.

However, Channel 4 news, citing an unidentified source, said the footage featured Moore, who appeared healthy, and who said he and the other men were well.

There has been no official news of the captives for more than a year, and last July British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was taking seriously a claim by Iraqi militants that one of the hostages had killed himself.

In February 2008, a video featuring Moore, who appeared tired but not distressed, was aired by Dubai-based Al Arabiya television in which he called on Brown to free nine Iraqis in return for their freedom.

An earlier video, released in December 2007, showed another of the captives who identified himself as Jason saying the militants holding the Britons would kill one of the five unless Britain withdrew its troops from Iraq.

Britain has barely 2,000 soldiers left in the country and all of them will be out by June.