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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 170

Date:- 09 October 2004

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City Mourns Ken Bigley 
By Dominic Bonner.
 

THE LORD MAYOR of Liverpool Councillor Frank Roderick expressed on Friday 8 October his sincere condolences on behalf of the City of Liverpool to the family of Kenneth Bigley. 

After three weeks in which Mr Bigley had been detained by his captors in Latifiya near Baghdad, confusion about reports that he had been taken to the militant stronghold of Falluja which belonged to the Jihad and Tawhid group and was executed by the men. 

Confirmation of the reports that Mr Bigley was killed on Thursday in Latifiya, a Sunni Muslim town South West of Baghdad after pictures were sent to the news agency Reuters.

His captors claimed that the British Government had failed to meet the group’s demands. 

The Muslim Council of Britain released a statement saying it was appalled and profoundly saddened by the reported cold blooded murder of Mr Kenneth Bigley after a protracted period of mental torture and anguish. They told the international media that:- "We offer our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the Bigley family who have gone through the most dreadful of experiences. Throughout this terrible ordeal we have maintained close contact with Ken's family." 

Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed his ‘utter revulsion’ at the killings of the three men and expressed that the government had made every effort to secure Ken Bigley’s release. 

Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi also condemned the British hostage's death by saying it was a horrible, barbaric act. 

Liverpool Councillor Roderick said:- "All our thoughts are with Kenneth Bigley's family and friends during this terrible time. 

Our hearts go out to them. They have shown exceptional fortitude, bravery and determination during the last 23 days. It is an awful tragedy that their ordeal has ended like this. 

I am sure the people of Liverpool would wish me to express their deepest sympathy and condolences to Ken's family." 


The Lord Mayor has called on the city to observe a two minute silence at midday Saturday 9 October, 2004 and flags will be flown at half-mast. 

He said:- "I hope that the city will come to a standstill tomorrow to express its sympathy and solidarity with Ken's family at this time." 

A Book of Condolence has been opened in the Remembrance Hall at Liverpool Town Hall (entrance via the West Reception door). A second book is also available at the Metropolitan Cathedral for members of the public to sign. 

Liverpool City Council Leader, Mike Storey said:- "This is a tragic day for the Bigley family, the city and everyone who prayed and hoped for Ken's release. 

Our thoughts are with Ken Bigley's family in this dark hour. They have remained brave, strong and resolute throughout this ordeal, never losing hope. 

There are no words to describe their terrible loss, but the people of the city will unite in offering our prayers and support for them at this difficult time. Just as we united as a city to pray for Ken's release, so we will unite as a city in mourning. 

The city will do all it can to help them come to terms with this. We would pray that peace comes to the Middle East, so that no other family has to suffer such an ordeal again." 


The MCB's Secretary General, Iqbal Sacranie said:- "There can be absolutely no justification for the killing of this defenceless individual. This is a deed that is deeply repugnant and morally reprehensible. We unequivocally condemn it and hope that Ken's murderers are brought to justice swiftly." 

Members of the public who wish to mourn Mr Bigley and express their sympathy for his family can visit Liverpool 's Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, where a vigil for Ken Bigley was held on 24 September.

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