Al-Jazeera: Ten New Hostages

The Arab news network Al-Jazeera showed video Thursday of 10 new hostages seized in Iraq by militants.

Al-Jazeera said the 10 — six Iraqis, two Lebanese and two Indonesian women — were taken by The Islamic Army (search) in Iraq. The group has claimed responsibility for seizing two French journalists last month.

The video showed three of the hostages, who were not Kamel, the deputy interior minister in charge of intelligence, said two Lebanese were kidnapped, along with "a group of others that included women."

Intelligence officials were investigating and trying to find them, he said.

The network said the 10 were employees of the Jib electricity company.

A Lebanese Foreign Ministry official in Beirut, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two Lebanese citizens have been kidnapped in Iraq.

Later, another official who also refused to be identified said kidnappers in Iraq had released a Lebanese hostage identified as Imad Basila and said he was in good health. It was not immediately clear if he was one of the two Lebanese citizens the Foreign Ministry said had been kidnapped.

Several Lebanese businessmen and truck drivers have been kidnapped in Iraq in recent months. All were released unharmed except for one, Hussein Ali Alyan, a 26-year-old Lebanese construction worker found shot to death June 12. Foreign Ministry officials have said Alyan's kidnappers sought ransom and apparently were not politically motivated.

Hundreds of Lebanese, mainly construction workers and industrialists, have gone to Iraq looking for opportunities in postwar reconstruction.

The French journalists, Christian Chesnot (search) and Georges Malbrunot (search), disappeared Aug. 20 during a trip to the southern Iraqi city of Najaf. The Islamic Army in Iraq demanded that France revoke a new law banning Islamic head scarves from state schools.

The law went into effect as planned earlier this month. Negotiations for their release are continuing.

More than 140 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq by a range of groups, some holding them for ransom while others have set political conditions for their release. At least 26 hostages have been killed.

Seven hostages, including two Italian aid workers, have been released this week.

In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair (search) ruled out any negotiations to free British hostage Kenneth Bigley (search), who tearfully pleaded for his life in a second video released Wednesday.

In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., Blair said his government would do what it could to aid his release.

"I am not sitting here saying, 'If they get in contact with us then we are just going to refuse to do anything,"' Blair said. "We will do whatever we can. In fact there is a lot that we are trying to do, which I won't go into. But we are trying to do whatever we possibly can."

The engineer was kidnapped two weeks ago in Baghdad along with two American colleagues who have since been beheaded.

The militants claiming responsibility for Bigley's abduction have demanded the release of female Iraqi prisoners at American-controlled prisons — a move U.S. officials ruled out.

"We cannot negotiate ... in the sense of negotiating about the payment of ransoms or meeting any political demands," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said. "That's always been the position of the British government and it always will be."

Iraq's interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi (search) said it was "repugnant" of the kidnappers to use Bigley as a "political pawn."

"The anguish and pain inflicted on his family and friends is indescribable," he told reporters in London.

But Allawi also said he was "saddened" by the media's coverage of the kidnapping.

"Can we justify showing videos of hostages or groups of armed and hooded men? Is this not exactly the publicity that the terrorists seek?" Allawi said.

The Arab news network Al-Jazeera on Wednesday broadcast video of a sobbing Bigley talking from behind bars of what appeared to be a prison cell. He was dressed in an orange jumpsuit and kneeling on the floor.