The British government said on Sunday that two bodies handed over to British authorities in Iraq have been identified as the British bodyguards kidnapped in Baghdad two years ago, Xinhua reported.
The UK Foreign Office said that the two bodies were "highly likely" those of Jason Creswell, from Glasgow, Scotland, and Jason Swindlehurst, from Skelmersdale in northwest England.
The two men worked for Canadian security firm GardaWorld and were abducted in May 2007 along with information technology consultant Peter Moore and two other bodyguards, identified only as Alan and Alec. The five men were overpowered by a Shiite militant group outside the Finance Ministry in Baghdad two years ago.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent his condolences to the families of the dead men on Sunday. He also said that he had contacted Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and was working with authorities in Baghdad to secure the remaining hostages' release "as soon as possible."
Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Saturday that two bodies of British hostages had been handed over by Iraqi authorities on Friday night to British officials.
Britain was a key ally of the United States in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but has now withdrawn all but about 500 troops from the country.