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05 March 2024

Body of Brit hostage killed in Iraq in 2007 returned


The body of a British hostage abducted in Iraq in 2007 and killed by Shiite militants has been handed to embassy staff in Baghdad, Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement Friday.

"It is with great sadness that I can confirm that the British Embassy in Baghdad received a body today that has been identified as Alan McMenemy, who was kidnapped in Baghdad in 2007, along with four other men," Cameron said.

McMenemy was one of four Britons working as a bodyguard for British computer consultant Peter Moore, when all five were abducted by about 40 gunmen of the Asaib Ahel al-Haq, or League of the Righteous.

Moore was released unharmed in December 2009, and the bodies of the three other Britons -- Alec MacLachlan, 30, Jason Swindlehurst, 38, and Jason Creswell, 39 -- were handed over to British officials in 2009.

"My thoughts are with Alan's family and friends at this time," Cameron said in his statement.

"They have waited so long for his return and I hope that this will allow them to find some peace after an ordeal that no family should ever have to suffer."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said they had long believed McMenemy had been killed.

Beginning in June 2009, hundreds of members of the Shiite militia were freed from US-run prisons in Iraq after the bodies of the other three bodyguards were handed over by the militants.

Suggestions that the militants were released in exchange for the bodies of the three Britons have never been officially confirmed.

Washington alleges that the League of the Righteous and other Shiite militant groups in Iraq are backed by neighbouring Iran.