Italy, Greece say hostages in Nigeria killed
By Gavin Jones and Renee Maltezou,ReutersROME/ATHENS -- 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.
March 11, 2013, 12:10 am TWN
Al-Qaida-affiliated group Ansaru said on Saturday it had killed the hostages seized on Feb. 7 in the northern sate 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.