Suffolk man's plea for brother

AN Ipswich man today pleaded with Tony Blair to save his brother from Iraqi kidnappers.Philip Bigley, whose brother Kenneth was taken captive in Baghdad last Thursday has made desperate appeals to the Prime Minister to meet demands made by the captors.

AN Ipswich man today pleaded with Tony Blair to save his brother from Iraqi kidnappers.

Philip Bigley, whose brother Kenneth was taken captive in Baghdad last Thursday has made desperate appeals to the Prime Minister to meet demands made by the captors.

Kenneth Bigley, 62, is an engineer and has been taken hostage by militants belonging to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group Tawhid and Jihad. The group has already released sickening footage of an American man captured with Mr Bigley being beheaded.

They have said Mr Bigley and another hostage, Jack Hensley, would be killed unless two Iraqi women allegedly held by coalition authorities are released.

A video released early on Saturday morning warned the men would be murdered unless women prisoners were released within 48 hours.

Mr Bigley's younger brother Philip, 48, is believed to live in the Tuddenham Road area of Ipswich and his appeals to release his brother have been played on Arab television.

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In a statement issued to Arab media, Mr Bigley, a company director, said: "Ken has enjoyed working in the Arab world for the last ten years in civil engineering and has many Arabic friends and is understanding and appreciative of the Islamic culture.

"His love of the area is what has kept him there for so many years and is the

reason he was prepared to help in Baghdad where many others would be worried for their own safety.

"He wanted to help the ordinary Iraqi people and is just doing his job."

Mr Bigley said their mother, 86-year-old Lil, was "distressed and confused"

over the kidnapping, which was "unbearably harsh" on her.

Mr Bigley was joined on television by his nephew – Kenneth Bigley's son – Craig, 33, and the pair spoke from the family home in Liverpool.

Iraq's Prime Minister Iyad Allawi who is in London for talks with Mr Blair on Sunday and met Foreign Secretary Jack Straw yesterday, said his interim government would not negotiate.

"Our principal drive is not to negotiate with hostage-takers and not to

negotiate with terrorists, and this is where we find our strength is," he said.

Mr Bigley was kidnapped with the two Americans from the garden of their home in the wealthy al-Mansour district of Baghdad without a struggle.

The three were working for Middle East-based Gulf Supplies and Commercial Services.

Mr Bigley was said to have ignored threats and advice to leave Iraq because of the dangers facing foreign workers.

Philip Bigley has also appeared on Sky News to make his appeals.

"We have seen the Prime Minister spending time on trains that can help a commuter save 14 minutes on a journey to London when he should be devoting his time to saving the life of my brother," he said.

"We are not politicians. He is the political head of our country. It is the

Prime Minister who has the power to save Ken's life.

"Prime Minister, we as a family are begging you, please help us."

He also told GMTV: "We feel absolutely helpless. We do not have the power to save Ken's life. The death of the American hostage has proved to us that if nothing is done then the two remaining captives will die by the most horrific means.

"The only person we can now beg to help us is the Prime Minister."

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