The Iraqi husband of Margaret Hassan was said to be deeply distressed yesterday after a video emerged showing the apparent murder of the Irish-born aid worker by her kidnappers.
Locals who knew the head of the relief agency CARE International in Iraq were also devastated, protesting that the apparent killing of the woman known as "Mama Margaret" was against Islam.
Tahseen Hassan, who has pleaded with his wife's kidnappers to return her to him, was unwilling to leave his home in a modest Baghdad district.
Qatar-based TV station Al-Jazeera said on Tuesday it had received a video that showed an armed man shooting at a blindfolded woman who appeared to be Hassan , who had Irish, British and Iraqi nationalities.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the executed woman was believed to be Hassan and Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed his "abhorrence at the cruel treatment of someone who devoted so many years of their life to helping the people of Iraq."
Hassan, who has lived in Iraq for 30 years and spent most of her career helping Iraqis, was abducted by unknown attackers on Oct. 19 as she drove to her offices in Baghdad.
She is one of the highest profile victims of a scourge of kidnappings that has plagued Iraq.
Tahseen Hassan on Tuesday pleaded with the kidnappers to let him know where he could recover her body.
"Margaret lived with me in Iraq for 30 years," he said in an emotional statement. "She dedicated her life to serving the Iraqi people. Please, now, please return her to me."