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UK ‘finds Lebanon hostage body’


Mr Collett

Human remains have been found by a team searching for a British journalist kidnapped by Palestinian militants more than 20 years ago in Lebanon. The Foreign Office confirmed British experts excavating a site in the Bekaa Valley have dug up two bodies.

One of the bodies is undergoing DNA testing to determine if it is Alec Collett, who was abducted in 1985. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm that unidentified human remains have been recovered.”

He added: “The operation is continuing.” The other body is said to be that of an unidentified man. Collett was a freelance journalist who had been commissioned by the UN Relief and Works Agency to write about Palestinian refugee camps when he was snatched at gunpoint in Beirut. He was then aged 64.

The Abu Nidal Organisation (ANO), a militant Palestinian group, claimed to have killed him in retaliation for US air raids on Libya. A video showing the hanging of a hooded figure said to be Collett was released, but the victim was never officially identified.

A spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said: “There is new forensic information. New remains have been found and are being identified. We are in touch with the family and they will be the first to know if there are any new developments.

“UNRWA and the entire UN family remember Alec Collett, paying homage to him every year at UN Headquarters in New York on the day of solidarity for detained and missing humanitarian workers.”

Source: BBC

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