Tape Shows Female British Hostage Is Still Alive in Iraq

As of Tuesday, Margaret Hassan, a 59-year old Britishhumanitarian worker who is head of CARE International in Iraq, isstill alive according to a tape broadcast on Al-Jazeera after shewas kidnapped one week ago on her way to work.

The tape depicted Hassan very distraught as she blinked backtears and spoke into the camera. Unlike the video released of thethree men beheaded in September, there were no gunmen visible inthe broadcast.

She was sending the same message as 62-year-old British engineerKenneth Bigley on a Sept. 20 tape, to withdraw troops from Iraq andasked for the release of all the Iraqi female detainees.

“Please don’t bring the soldiers to Baghdad… Please, on top ofthat, please release the women prisoners from prisons,” Hassansaid.

No specific militant group have come forward to claimresponsibility for Hassan’s kidnapping, but signs are pointing toIslamic militants lead by Abu Masab al-Zarqawi.

Zarqawi made the same demands in exchange for the lives of JackHensley, an American contractor, Eugene “Jack” Armstrong, anAmerican contractor, and Bigley. The three men were in Iraq workingfor Gulf Supplies and Commercial Services Co. of the United ArabEmirates when they were kidnapped and beheaded.

Hassan, who also holds Irish and Iraqi citizenship, said in anearlier video that she would also be beheaded. A deadline to meetthe militant’s demands was not given
Care International has suspended operations as a result of Hassanpleading with the company to close its office in Iraq onWednesday’s tape.

Britain began redeploying some 800 troops toward the Baghdadarea Wednesday, in a move aimed at freeing up U.S. forces for anassault on insurgents areas north and west of the capital,according to the Washington Post.