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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 March 2006, 09:36 GMT
Timeline: Norman Kember abduction

British peace activist Norman Kember has been freed in Iraq along with two Canadian colleagues. The body of fellow hostage Tom Fox was found in Baghdad two weeks ago.

The BBC News website looks at the events since the four westerners were kidnapped during a peace mission to Iraq in November, by a group demanding the release of Iraqi prisoners.

26 November 2005: British peace activist Norman Kember, 74, is kidnapped in Iraq, along with American Tom Fox, 54, and Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32.

30 November: Video footage of the hostages is aired on al-Jazeera television.

A previously unknown group calling itself the Swords of Truth Brigade says it has kidnapped them and claims they were working as undercover spies.

1 December: Anti-war campaigner Anas Altikriti, of the Muslim Association of Britain, flies to Iraq to plead for Mr Kember's life.

2 December: A second videotaped message showing the hostages is broadcast by al-Jazeera.

The hostage-takers threaten to kill them if the US and Iraqi authorities do not meet their demand of releasing all Iraqi prisoners by 8 December.

4 December: Mr Kember's wife, Patricia, makes a televised plea for her husband's life.

6 December: An extended version of the second hostage video emerges on the internet.

In it Mr Kember calls for British troops to be pulled out of Iraq.

7 December: Terror suspect Abu Qatada makes a video appealing for the kidnappers to show mercy to Mr Kember.

The film, made by the radical cleric inside Full Sutton jail, near York, where he is being held pending deportation, is broadcast in the Middle East.

8 December: A third video is aired on al-Jazeera, showing Mr Kember and US hostage Tom Fox dressed in Guantanamo Bay-style orange jumpsuits. They are blindfolded and shackled.

The captors extend their deadline for two days until 10 December.

9 December: British ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg appeals for Mr Kember's release.

10 December: The extended deadline passes but there is no news of the hostages' fate and no word from their captors.

24 December: Mr Kember's family start using Iraqi radio and newspaper adverts to appeal for him to be released.

The Muslim Association of Britain broadcasts an appeal on al-Jazeera.

6 January 2006: Mrs Kember appears on al-Jazeera to make a second appeal.

28 January: Seven weeks after the last news of the hostages, a fourth video showing the four men and dated 21 January is broadcast on al-Jazeera. Their captors again say the four men will be killed if the group's demands are not met.

5 March: Vigils are held across the UK to mark 100 days since Mr Kember's kidnap. Up to 100 people attend one of the hour-long vigils in London's Trafalgar Square.

7 March: A further videotape of Mr Kember and two of the other hostages, dated 28 February and broadcast without sound, is aired on al-Jazeera. The Foreign Office says it is concerned that American hostage Tom Fox is not shown on the tape.

10 March: US State Department confirms that the body of an American found in Iraq is that of Tom Fox.

23 March: Mr Kember, Mr Loney and Mr Sooden are freed in a planned operation by multi-national forces.


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