Weeping Hassan in plea for life

Margaret Hassan pleads for the British to withdraw from Iraq

New footage of hostage Margaret Hassan apparently weeping as she pleads with Britain to save her life has been broadcast on al-Jazeera TV station.

Mrs Hassan begs Prime Minister Tony Blair to withdraw British forces from Iraq to save her from the same fate as murdered British captive Ken Bigley.

She is shown saying: "Please, please I beg of you, the British people, to help me. I don't want to die like Bigley."

Mrs Hassan, seized on Tuesday, heads Care International operations in Iraq.

"Tell Mr Blair to take the troops out of Iraq and not bring them here to Baghdad."
Video appeal by Margaret Hassan

Mrs Hassan, who has dual British and Iraqi nationality and is married to an Iraqi, adds: "Please help me. This might be my last hour.

"Please help me. The British people, tell Mr Blair to take the troops out of Iraq and not bring them here to Baghdad.

"That's why people like myself and Mr Bigley have been caught."

The video shows her obviously distressed and putting her head in her hands.

No responsibility claimed

An editor at al-Jazeera said the network had received the tape on Friday but refused to give details of how or where.

He said the tape contained only Mrs Hassan's statement and did not show any claim of responsibility or clue to the identity of her kidnappers.

She was kidnapped at around 0730 (0430 GMT) on Tuesday on her way to work in Baghdad.

Numerous appeals have been made from within Iraq for Mrs Hassan, who was born in Dublin, to be freed unharmed.

Interviews with her Iraqi husband have been shown at length on the two most watched stations, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya.

Both stations also broadcast interviews with her fellow aid workers, stressing her many years of humanitarian work in Iraq.

An appeal from the Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, has been shown repeatedly.

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