British government condemns video release of Iraq hostage

Other News Materials 27 February 2008 00:17 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The British government Tuesday condemned as "distressing" the release of a video on an Arabic satellite TV channel purporting to show one of five British hostages kidnapped in Baghdad last May.

The Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV broadcast a clip of the man, who gave his name as Peter, and urged Prime Minister Gordon Brown to facilitate the hostages' release.

According to the BBC, the man demanded the release of "nine people held by the coalition authorities" in return the release of the five British hostages.

The men were seized from the Finance Ministry in Baghdad on May 29 last year in an audacious operation involving a large number of attackers wearing Iraqi police uniforms.

In London, the Foreign Office said the film would be "greatly distressing" to the men's families and called on the kidnappers to release them immediately.