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Security guards Jason Cresswell and Jason Swindlehurst 'were shot dead'
This was reported by The Times earlier this morning but I didn't have time to post it. Now I have returned home I see that this cause of death has been confirmed by the Coroner. I now have no qualms whatsoever about repeating the information.
Two British hostages whose bodies were flown home from Iraq last week were shot dead, The Times has learnt.
The news dispels speculation that the security guards Jason Swindlehurst, 38, from Lancashire, and Jason Creswell, 39, from Glasgow, died of natural causes or suicide.
It also heightens fears about the fate of three other Britons kidnapped at the same time in Baghdad two years ago.
Canon Andrew White, a vicar in the Iraqi capital, (he is the Anglican Vicar of Baghdad and a friend of the men) was contacted by family members of one of the three remaining hostages.
The clergyman told The Times: “They said that the police had been to see them and told them that both Jasons were shot.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office declined to comment. Both men were killed some time ago.
British officials in Baghdad received their bodies earlier this month. It is thought that the kidnappers — who call themselves the League of Righteousness — handed them over in a goodwill gesture after a suspected insurgent linked to the group was released from US detention.
Two British hostages killed in Iraq died from gunshot wounds, a coroner has concluded.
The Oxfordshire Coroner opened inquests into their deaths and is expected to release the men's bodies to their families so their funerals can be held.
A Foreign Office spokesman declined to comment on the inquests, saying: "This is an ongoing matter for the coroner."
Inquests into the deaths of personel which occur in Iraq and Afghanistan are deal with by the Oxfordshire Coroner because their bodies arrive in England at RAF Brize Norton, which is in Oxfordshire. He and his team now have a section dedicated to war deaths. The previous Deputy Coroner had a reputation for speaking his mind in relation to poor equipment issued by MOD and the like. Sadly his contract was not renewed last year.
While there was a faint possibility that the two Jasons might have died from illness while in captivity (although as fit young men not long out of the army the scope for heart disease brought on by shock or similar was reduced) I hoped that release of their bodies was a prelude to release of the other hostages alive.
Other than my disgust that the Foreign Office seems to have allowed itself to be run rings round. If there is any truth in the claims in this Daily Mail article which I decided not to use here over the weekend resignations are in order and careers should be finished.
Oh look there goes a flying pig.