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  British hostage's family hopeful
Updated 22 September 2004, 14.50

Kenneth Bigley
The family of a British man being held hostage in Iraq are hopeful he may still be released unharmed.

An Iraqi group took Kenneth Bigley and said they would kill him unless all female prisoners in Iraq were freed.

Only two women are thought to be held by US-backed authorities in Iraq, and now the government there has said they are planning to let one of them out.

But the US, who are holding the women in one of their jails, say they have no plans to release either of them.

A spokesperson for the British government said no-one has asked the Iraqi government to let any female prisoners out of jail.

Iraq
Governments don't like doing anything they are asked to do by groups using hostages to threaten them.

If they give in to one group it's possible they may ask for something much bigger in the future if they think their tactics could work.

Mr Bigley was taken with two Americans in Iraq last week. One of those has already been killed and it's reported the second American has been as well.

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Hopes fade for British hostage
Fears for British hostage in Iraq
Dozens die in Iraq mosque bombing
French hostage safety 'uncertain'

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