Nigeria Hostages Killed

March 8, 2012 by staff 

Nigeria Hostages Killed, A Briton and an Italian held hostage in Nigeria by kidnappers possibly linked to al-Qaeda were killed before a U.K. and Nigerian rescue operation could free them, authorities said Thursday. Britain said the men were killed by their captors, while a Nigerian official said the two apparently died in the crossfire during the rescue attempt.

Chris McMa**s and Franco Lamolinara were taken captive in May. The pair had been working on a bank construction project in Nigeria, a country that has seen a rise in violence linked to the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. A senior British government official said Thursday the kidnappers appeared to be from an al-Qaeda-linked cell within Boko Haram, but not within the main Boko Haram faction.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said that after months of not knowing where the men were, U.K. authorities had “received credible information about their location.” Believing the men’s lives were in “imminent and growing danger,” a rescue operation was mounted, Cameron said.

“The terrorists holding the two hostages made very clear threats to take their lives, including in a video that was posted on the Internet,” Cameron said.

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