UK Hostage in Iraq Kills Himself: Kidnappers

Captors blame Downing St. for ignoring negotiations
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2008 3:03 PM CDT
A US officer places a board showing a breakaway Shiite group leader Qais al-Kazaali. The kidnappers have demanded the release of al-Kazaali in exchange for the remaining four British hostages.    (AP Photo/Wathiq Khuzaie)
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(Newser) – One of five British hostages seized in Baghdad last year has killed himself, according to a video made by his Shi'ite captors. Seeking the release of comrades in US captivity, they blame the British government for failing to negotiate: "Foot-dragging" has hastened the captives' "psychological deterioration, pushing one of them, Jason, to commit suicide," the videotaped statement says.

Another hostage urged Britain to free them, saying he is in poor physical and psychological shape. Gordon Brown reminded Nouri al-Maliki of the captives on a trip to Baghdad yesterday. "Clearly this is a very distressing development," Brown said. "We are taking this very seriously. There are many people working behind the scenes trying to find a solution.”