Italy, Greece Confirm Hostages In Nigeria Were Killed

Seven foreign hostages kidnapped last month by a Nigerian Islamist group from a construction firm compound have been killed, the Italian and Greek Foreign Ministries said on Sunday.
Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansaru said on Saturday it had killed the hostages seized on February 7 in the northern state of Bauchi because of attempts by Nigerian and British forces to free them.

It published grainy photos alongside the statement, purporting to show the bodies of a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese workers snatched from the Lebanese firm Setraco. An armed militant stood in front of them.

Nigerian authorities said on Sunday they still had no information on any such killing, and on Saturday they doubted the veracity of the group's statement.

However, an Italian Foreign Ministry statement said: "Our checks conducted in co-ordination with the other countries concerned lead us to believe that the news of the killing of the hostages seized last month is true."

The Greek Foreign Ministry said: "The information we have shows that the Greek citizen is dead," adding, the ministry had informed his family.

Britain and Lebanon declined to comment.

The Greeks and Italians both said there had been no attempt by any government forces to free them.

"We have launched a full investigation to find out what has really happened, but for now we really cannot way whether this report is true or not," police spokesman for Bauchi state Hassan Mohammed Auyo said by telephone.
Terrorism 6414048205982156919

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