British and Italian hostages killed in a failed rescue attempt in Nigeria

A Briton and Italian were killed by Al Qaeda linked gunmen in Nigeria after a failed hostage rescue, the British Prime Minister announced Thursday.

According to BBC, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said that he received word that Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara had been "murdered by their captors before they could be rescued".

The two engineers had been working for B Stabilini, an Italian construction firm based in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, when they were taken hostage from their compound north of the capital in May of last year.

The Guardian said that in December last year, a Nigerian group calling itself "al–Qaida in the land beyond the Sahil" announced it had captured the two.

A video showing the men with their armed captors was released last August.

The BBC said that another Italian employee managed to escape during the kidnapping while a Nigerian was shot and wounded.

The Telegraph reported that the UK Prime Minister said the two hostages appeared to had died at the hands of their captors, either before or during the course of the rescue attempt.

Mr Cameron said: "The effort to free Chris McManus from the north west of England, and an Italian hostage was launched by Nigerian forces with the assistance of the UK." 

He went on to say in a statement posted on the Guardian: "After months of not knowing where they were being held, we received credible information about their location. A window of opportunity arose to secure their release. We also had reason to believe that their lives were under imminent and growing danger."

British forces supported the Nigerian-led operation, Mr Cameron said.

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