The remains of a British journalist who was kidnapped more than 20 years ago have been found in Lebanon, the Foreign Office confirmed last night.
Experts found human bones in the Bekaa Valley last week and tests have now shown that they are Alec Collett’s remains.
He was snatched in 1985 while on a writing assignment in Palestinian refugee camps for the UN Relief and Works Agency.
A spokesman for UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said: “The secretary-general appreciates the role played by the relevant authorities in the United Kingdom and in Lebanon to resolve this matter after so many years.
“He is grateful for the work done by the Department of Safety and Security in helping to determine what happened to Mr Collett. Although he is saddened by Alec Collett’s death, he hopes that the actions taken to find his remains can provide a measure of comfort to his loved ones.
“The secretary-general expresses his sincere sympathies to Alec Collett’s family and would like to restate the commitment of the United Nations to assist them in the days ahead.”
Collett was kidnapped by terror group Abu Nidal. Four years ago former member Zaid Hassan Safarini claimed he witnessed the Briton’s murder in 1986.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that the human remains recovered last week in Beirut are those of British national Alec Collett.
“British Embassy staff in Beirut continue to assist the family.”