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Faithful to the end

LONDON (CNS): Margaret Hassan, the aid worker kidnapped and killed in Iraq, remained a Catholic throughout her life and never converted to Islam as was widely reported, the Archdiocese of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, said in a statement.

Archdiocesan spokesman Austen Ivereigh said Ms Hassan remained a regular churchgoer in Baghdad, Iraq, where she lived with her husband, Tahseen Hassan, since 1973.

In Baghdad, Ms Hassan worked for the British Council until the first Iraqi war.

She began working for Care International in the early 1990s. She was a fierce critic of UN-imposed economic sanctions against Iraq.

Irish-born Ms Hassan, who held dual British and Iraqi citizenship, was kidnapped on October 19 and killed sometime before November 16.

Although her body has not been found and some doubts have been raised about her death, her family earlier accepted as genuine a video that portrayed her execution.

After her murder, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster called her a “martyr for goodness”.

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