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Ipswich: Brother of murdered hostage Ken Bigley speaks of distress over “inhumanity” of IS beheadings

PUBLISHED: 12:31 17 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:31 17 September 2014

Ken Bigley. Photo PA.

Ken Bigley. Photo PA.

The Suffolk brother of a man beheaded in Iraq has spoken of his distress at the latest killings by terrorist group Islamic State –saying the “inhumanity” was hard to comprehend.

Phil Bigley, who lives in north Ipswich, is now working with a charity supporting the families of hostage victims.

He said the spate of beheadings by IS has caused him relive the anguish he went through a decade ago.

Following last weekend’s release of the video showing the murder of British humanitarian David Haines, the world now awaits the fate of his fellow countryman and aid worker Alan Henning.

Mr Haines’ death followed those of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.

Ken Bigley, 62, was beheaded by insurgents in Iraq on October 7, 2004, after being held hostage for three weeks. His captors had been demanding the release of women prisoners.

Mr Bigley’s brother Phil, now a trustee for the charity Hostage UK which supports families in similar situations, offered his condolences to Mr Haines’ loved ones.

He said: “This is a terrible, terrible time for David’s family, his friends and his colleagues.

“I was so deeply saddened with the news of his death, which once again brought back many vivid memories and emotions.

“This week marks 10 years since my brother, Ken, was taken and subsequently murdered in Iraq in similar circumstances.

“I continue to struggle with the inhumanity exhibited by one human being to another.

“I believe the best support we can offer David’s family members at this difficult time is to respect their privacy during these coming weeks.

“For families caught up in these terrible circumstances, Hostage UK is here to offer support.”

Merseyside engineer Ken Bigley was working in Iraq when he was kidnapped by terrorists along with two American co-workers in 2004.

He was held captive for 22 days by Iraqi insurgents who recorded his death on camera before releasing the video online.

After his death it was reported that Mr Bigley had tried to flee from his captors shortly before he died.

Iraqi government sources said Mr Bigley escaped briefly before being recaptured.

He is thought to have escaped for around half an hour, with the help of one of his captors.

Mr Bigley was recaptured in farmland near the town of Latifiya, south-west of Baghdad, the Reuters news agency said, quoting “insurgent sources”.

His son Craig, 87-year-old mother Lil and brothers Phil, Stan and Paul had campaigned hard for his release.

The Tawhid and Jihad group took Mr Bigley hostage along with two US colleagues in Baghdad on September 16, 2004.

It beheaded the Americans the following week.

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