Washington, Mar 11: Tom Fox, an American who was one of four Christian activists taken hostage in Iraq last year, has been found dead, the State Department said yesterday.
''The FBI has identified the identity of the body of Tom Fox,'' said State Department spokesman Noel Clay. ''The family has been notified and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family.'' Clay said additional forensic examinations would be conducted in the United States.
Fox, 54, of Clearbrook, Virginia, was one of four Western aid workers that a group calling itself ''Swords of Truth'' kidnapped in Western Baghdad in November. The four, including two Canadians and a Briton, worked for Christian Peacemaker Teams, one of the few remaining aid groups operating in Iraq.
Fox's body was found in Baghdad on Thursday, the group said in a statement.
''Christian Peacemaker Teams extends our deep and heartfelt condolences to the family and community of Tom Fox, with whom we have traveled so closely in these days of crisis,'' it said.
''We renew our plea for the safe release of Harmeet Sooden, Jim Loney and Norman Kember,'' the group added.
Earlier this week, those three remaining hostages were shown in a video aired on Al Jazeera television. The men called on Gulf Arab leaders and their own governments to help free them.
The video, dated February 28, was the first since the hostage-takers said in January that US-led forces had one last chance to free Iraqi prisoners or the men would be killed.
The men shown in that video appeared to be Kember, a Briton, and Canadians Loney and Sooden, and they all seemed to be in good health.
More than 200 foreigners and thousands of Iraqis have been kidnapped since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.