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  New leaflet appeal for UK hostage
Updated 24 September 2004, 16.48

Kenneth Bigley
Fifty thousand leaflets are being handed out in Iraq, in the hope of convincing hostage-takers to free a British man being held there.

The leaflets spell out a personal appeal from the family of Ken Bigley, asking for him to be released unharmed.

The pamphlets will be given out in Baghdad, where Mr Bigley and two colleagues were taken last Thursday.

The three were captured at gunpoint and Americans Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley have since been killed.

News of the leaflets came after Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the UK was doing all it could to help get Mr Bigley released.

Family pleas

Iraq
On Thursday, Mr Bigley's mother Lil, 86, made a televised appeal for her son from her home city of Liverpool

His wife Sombat, has begged the hostage-takers to free him.

Kidnappers from the Tawhid and Jihad Group, led by al-Qaeda suspect Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, say they will kill Mr Bigley unless the UK and US release all women held in Iraqi jails.

But the British government says it won't talk to the kidnappers, and the US says it will not allow woman scientist Dr Rihab Rashid Tahathe, held in Iraq, to be released.

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