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Suspected Bigley death site found

A picture of Bigley during his captivity by militants in Iraq.
Great Britain
Ken Bigley

FALLUJA, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. military officials are increasingly confident that a house found in central Falluja is the site of the beheading of Briton Kenneth Bigley last month.

They also believe the site was used to house other hostages, CNN's Jane Arraf reported Monday.

Bigley was shown beheaded in a video received by Arabic-language network Abu Dhabi TV in early October.

Bigley was kidnapped in Baghdad on September 16 with two American colleagues, Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong, who were also beheaded.

An Iraqi insurgent captured in southern Falluja on Friday led Iraqi forces to the city center house where he said a British hostage had been held, as well as other "foreign hostages."

"The Iraqi ... gave such detailed knowledge of it that they (U.S. military officials) believe him to be credible," Arraf said.

Details of the house match videos Bigley appeared in during his captivity, including writing on the walls and being held in a chicken-wire cage.

The house also contained shackles and handcuffs.

Based on the evidence, "U.S. intelligence experts believe it is the house, but are not 100 percent sure," Arraf reported.

The Islamic militant group Unification and Jihad claimed to have kidnapped the men. It claims allegiance to terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and al Qaeda.

U.S. and Iraqi troops have been conducting door-to-door searches in the area following a major offensive in Falluja -- a militant Sunni stronghold -- which began earlier in November.

The raids have uncovered what appear to be an abandoned safe house, a bomb-making factory and weapons caches used by insurgents with ties to both al Qaeda and al-Zarqawi.

U.S. officials believe Bigley was beheaded by his captors after an escape attempt, U.S. and diplomatic sources have told CNN.

They would not explain how they came to that conclusion but added that other people may have been killed -- possibly some of the captors who may have tried to help Bigley, or other hostages being held by the same group.

Al-Zarqawi's group had demanded the release of all female Iraqi prisoners, however, the International Committee of the Red Cross has insisted that Britain was not holding any women in Iraq.

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