“Please help me, these might be my last hours” – The words of British hostage Margaret Hassan who is being held in Iraq. In a video recording Hassan, who was snatched from Baghdad on Tuesday, made a desperate appeal for her release and urged the UK to withdraw its forces from Iraq.
Irish-born Hassan, who works for the charity CARE International, has lived in Iraq for 30 years and has dual British-Iraqi nationality. It is unclear who her captors are and what they want. So far they have made no demands, but this is the second video they have released of Hassan. It appears to have become a popular method for kidnappers to exploit their captives. There are fears the charity worker could suffer the same fate as Kenneth Bigley, another British hostage beheaded more than two weeks ago. It puts further pressure on British Prime Minister Tony Blair, just a day after he agreed to a US request to redeploy British troops in Iraq to free up American soldiers for battle.