A British hostage kidnapped last month in southern Nigeria has been killed and three others freed, the Foreign Office (FCO) has confirmed.
NewsWireNGR recalls that Nigerian militant group Niger Delta Avengers had last Friday said its ceasefire on attacks in the country’s southern oil-rich region was at an end.
“We can assure you that every oil installation in our region will feel the warmth of the wrath of the Niger Delta Avengers,” the group said in a statement on its website.
Attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta in 2016 cut Nigeria’s oil production to its lowest level in at least 30 years.
Ian Squire was one of four Britons taken by suspected militants on 13 October from the oil-rich Delta area.
The British High Commission and Nigerian authorities negotiated the release of Alanna Carson, David Donovan and Shirley Donovan.
The FCO said it had been a “traumatic time” for those involved.
An FCO spokesperson said that Nigerian authorities were investigating the kidnapping, adding: “Our staff will continue to do all we can to support the families.”
It is understood the four were taken at about 02:00 local time last month, when suspected militants stormed a rural community they were living in.
According to reports, Dr and Mrs Donovan have lived in Nigeria for the past 14 years, running a charity called New Foundations, which gave aid to remote villages in the Niger Delta.
Relatives of the four said they were “delighted and relieved” that Ms Carson, and Dr and Mrs Donovan, had returned safely.
“Our thoughts are now with the family and friends of Ian as we come to terms with his sad death,” they said in a statement issued on their behalf.
“This has been a traumatic time for our loved ones who were kidnapped and for their families and friends here in the UK,” it said.
The FCO currently advises against all but essential travel to much of Delta state, saying there is a “high threat of criminal kidnap”.