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Local News

Hamas has six British hostages, government fears | UK News


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Six British nationals are suspected to be among those being held hostage by Hamas, a minister has told Sky News.

Victoria Atkins, financial secretary to the Treasury, said the missing Britons were the government’s “absolute priority”.

“It’s a very, very fast-moving situation but the latest figure I’ve been given is that there are suspected to be six British nationals,” she told Sky News.

Asked whether they were missing or being held hostage, she said: “We understand … that they are hostages.

“I do acknowledge that it’s a very fast-moving situation and that figure may or may not change, and I know how difficult that must be for the families and the friends at home here in the UK who are grappling with incredible worry and concern about their loved ones.”

Ms Atkins earlier confirmed that the number of Britons killed either during or since Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel had risen from nine to 10.

Israel-Gaza latest: Two female hostages freed by Hamas

Victoria Atkins, financial secretary to the Treasury
Victoria Atkins, financial secretary to the Treasury

Among the dead are two teenagers, a soldier, people visiting Israel on holiday, and a music festival security guard.

Hamas released two Israeli hostages on Monday night, after releasing two US citizens on Friday.

Yocheved Lifshitz and Nurit Cooper were taken from their homes by Hamas militants during the 7 October raids.

Sixteen days later, Hamas said it was releasing them for “humanitarian reasons”.

Egyptian TV showed the women being taken out of Gaza at the Rafah crossing and put into ambulances.

The husbands of Ms Lifshitz and Ms Cooper are still being held hostage by Hamas – the militant group did not explain why only the women had been released.

American hostages Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie Raanan were the first to be released by Hamas last week. They too were let go for “humanitarian reasons”.

Both of them hold Israeli citizenship and were on a trip to Israel from their home in Chicago to celebrate the Jewish holidays when they were seized.

Natalie Raanan’s father said she was “doing very good” after her release.

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Written by: lwrradio

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