Briton held hostage in Iraq killed, video shows

British hostage Ken Bigley, who has been held for three weeks by militants in Iraq, has been beheaded, a video obtained by Reuters Friday showed. The militants holding Bigley had demanded the release of all Muslim women prisoners held by coalition forces in Iraq. Britain reported that it was not holding any women, but the US said it was holding two Iraqi scientists involved in Iraqi weapons programs. Initial reports by the Iraq Justice Ministry claimed the women would be released, but US and Iraqi officials later refuted those claims. The British Foreign Office said it was trying to confirm the reports of Bigley's death. BBC News has a timeline of the events. Reuters has more.

UPDATE: BBC News is reporting that Bigley's family members have confirmed that Bigley was killed.

UPDATE-2: Amnesty International has condemned the beheading: "Kidnapping and then killing civilians are recognized international crimes involving the violation of people's most basic rights, and for which there can be no justification." Read the full AI press release here.

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