Militants in Iraq have released a video showing their British hostage pleading for his life, while Italian authorities are looking into a claim that two female Italian hostages have been killed.
An Internet website late Wednesday carried a message purportedly from the militants holding the Italian aid workers, saying they were killed because Italy did not pull its forces out of Iraq.
Earlier Wednesday, a tape showed Kenneth Bigley appealing to British Prime Minister Tony Blair to meet his abductors' demands and secure the release of jailed female Iraqis from two prisons. The two Americans abducted along with Mr. Bigley were beheaded earlier this week.
Both British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday that negotiating with the militants would only encourage other would-be hostage-takers.