Egyptian hostage found dead in Iraq


An Egyptian man held hostage by militants in Iraq has been found shot dead, Iraqi police said today.

Egyptian news agency MENA identified the man as 46-year-old Ibrahim al-Sayyid al-Hilali. Police said the man was snatched from his house yesterday.

He was the eighth foreigner kidnapped in Iraq in the past two weeks. A German archaeologist and her driver were taken hostage on November 25th and four Christian aid workers - two Canadians, an American and a Briton - were seized the next day.

All have since appeared in insurgent videos and have been threatened with death. A deadline set for the execution of the four Christian aid workers is due to expire today.

A French engineer was also abducted in Baghdad earlier this month and is still being held.

An American electrician was also taken and later killed by his kidnappers, according to a posting left on a militant Islamist Web site.

Several Egyptians have been seized in the past, including two diplomats working at the embassy in Baghdad. One was later released unharmed but the second, kidnapped several months later, was killed by his captors.