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Bodies of Iraq hostages returned to Britain

  • Story Highlights
  • Jason Creswell and Jason Swindlehurst kidnapped in 2007
  • Among five UK men snatched from an Iraqi finance ministry in Baghdad
  • Condition of the remaining three hostages was not known
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The bodies of two UK men kidnapped in Baghdad two years ago have been returned to their homeland, the British Foreign Office said Friday.

Iraqi authorities discovered the remains of Jason Creswell, originally from Glasgow, Scotland, and Jason Swindlehurst, originally from Skelmersdale, England, last week and handed them over to British authorities, the Foreign Office said.

The bodies were flown from Baghdad, returning to England early Thursday, according to the office.

"The families have asked for privacy. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time," a statement from the Foreign Office said. "We continue to do everything we can for the release of the other hostages."

Creswell and Swindlehurst were among five UK men kidnapped from an Iraqi finance ministry in Baghdad in May 2007.

Four of the men worked for Canadian-based security firm GardaWorld, according to the company. They were protecting the fifth Briton, a computer analyst with U.S.-based BearingPoint.

The "families of Jason Swindlehurst and Jason Creswell have had the worst possible news after two years of very anxious waiting, and I think the whole country will want to send the families our very sincere condolences," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Sunday.

"There is no justification for hostage-taking, and I call on those people who are holding the other Iraqi and British hostages to release them immediately."

The only identified captive until Sunday had been Peter Moore, who said his name in a video released by the kidnappers.

The condition of the remaining three hostages was not known.

"This gives us hope that Peter's still alive," Moore's father, Graeme Moore, told British television network ITN. However, he added, it was hard to feel joy, given news of the other two hostages' deaths.

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