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Last hostage pleads for life on video

Rediff Newsdesk | September 23, 2004 04:19 IST

Kenneth Bigley, the British hostage taken by Iraqi militants, pleaded to British Prime Minister Tony Blair to help save his life on a video, CNN reported.

"To Mr. Blair, my name is Ken Bigley, from Liverpool," the blindfolded man said in the grainy video put up on an Islamic web site, according to the CNN report. Bigley is the last of the three men the militants abducted September 16.

The militants have beheaded Bigley's colleagues, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, despite repeated that Hensley's wife made on the US media and on Al Jazeera, the news channel based in the Middle East.

"I think this is possibly my last chance. I don't want to die. I don't deserve [it]. Please free female prisoners held in Iraqi prisons," Bigley said in the video, according to CNN.

"Please help them. I need you to help me Mr. Blair because you are the only person now on God's Earth that I can speak to. Please, please help me see my wife, who cannot go on without me," according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The militants of the Tawhid and Jihad, which works under Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have been demanding the release of all women held in Iraqi prisons.

Bigley's family has strongly criticised Blair for not doing enough to have him released. While the clock was ticking Blair was inaugurating a new railway line, said brother Philip Bigley, The Independent reported. Blair took the unusual step of phoning Bigley's family Tuesday and British officials said they were using all possible channels to secure the engineer's release, CNN reported.

BBC reported that brother Paul Bigley had criticised the US for what he described as "throwing egg in the face" of Iraqi officials, after Washington apparently contradicted them for saying the women might be released soon.

Meanwhile, the BBC also reported that the US had killed Sheikh Abu Anas al-Shami, believed to be al-Zarqawi's spiritual mentor.


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