One of the four missionary workers kidnapped by the Niger Delta militants in Enekorogha community, Burutu Local government Area of Delta State on October 13, Ian Squire, has been killed by suspected militants.
The BBC quoted the foreign office as confirming the tragic incident, saying the three others were freed.
The British High Commission and Nigerian authorities reportedly negotiated the release of Alanna Carson, David Donovan and Shirley Donovan – the other captives.
“The FCO said it had been a traumatic time for those involved,” BBC said in its report.
According to reports, the Donovans had lived in Nigeria for the past 14 years, running a charity called New Foundations, which gave aid to remote villages in the Niger Delta.
“Our thoughts are now with the immediate family and friends of Ian as we come to terms with his sad death.
“This has been a traumatic time for our loved ones who were kidnapped and for their families and friends here in the UK,” their family said in a statement issued on their behalf.
However, security sources told our correspondent that Squire died of asthma attack and was not killed by his abductors.
Giving details of what transpired, senior military sources told our correspondent that the Briton was suffering from asthma and diabetes.
The sources added that the deceased died even before his colleagues were freed.
Though the security sources pleaded anonymity, findings revealed that unspecified amount of money was paid to the kidnappers before they freed their victims.
One of the sources said, “Unfortunately, one of the male victims who is asthmatic and diabetic at the same time, died while in captivity as a result of complications from his ailments. Squire was not killed by the militants. He died while in captivity around a bush within Bayelsa and Delta states. It’s an unfortunate situation. We’re not aware if any ransom was paid.”
Efforts to get clarification and more details from the Delta State Police Command proved abortive.
Officials of the Operation Delta Safe codenamed Joint Task Force could not also be reached for comment.