United Kingdom says Briton kidnapped in Nigeria last month killed, three others released

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Italian priest Maurizio Pallu was kidnapped by armed gunmen near Benin City in southern Nigeria last month, but released after spending three days held in a forest.

The Foreign Office earlier today said that Alanna Carson, David Donovan and Shirley Donovan have returned to their families, but that Ian Squire "was tragically killed".

Mr. Squire is credited with developing a solar-powered, portable lens-grinding machine for the clinic, which is said to be located in an area without electricity.

A Ballymoney woman has been freed with David Donovan and Shirley Donovan and have been flown back to the United Kingdom following their release from a horrific kidnapping of an armed gang who abducted them in Nigeria's southern Delta region.

"This has clearly been a traumatic time for all concerned, and our staff will continue to do all we can to support the families".

The Nigerian authorities are now conducting an investigation into Mr Squire's death, and believe militants operating in the area are behind the abduction.

Store director Adrian McCann said: "We are of course hugely relieved to hear that our colleague has been safely released and is back home with her family".

"What we are hearing is that the kidnappers dropped three surviving missionaries off at a village in Bayelsa State (in the Delta region) after one of them had already died", the source told the Telegraph.

Squire was an optician who had set up his own charity to save people's sight in countries including Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique.

In a statement released on Monday, the families of the kidnap victims described the past three weeks as "traumatic".

"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.

The Guardian report didn't, however, attribute the latest incident to any of the militant groups in the region.

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