The British foreign office is urgently investigating claims that the radical Islamist group, Ansaru, holding seven construction workers since February have killed the hostages.
Gunmen attacked the Lebanese-owned firm Setraco, which is in the area building a road, in early February. One security guard was reportedly killed in the attack. Initially the suspects were hard-line Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, which operates in Nigeria. They have launched many attacks, resulting in deaths, during the last year. Boko Haram held to blame for killing at least 729 people, in 2012 alone.
Within a couple of days Ansaru, an Islamist militant group with links to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. The group issued a statement which read, "By Allah's grace (we) have the custody of seven persons, which include Lebanese and their European counterparts working with Setraco." The statement continued by saying the kidnapping was, "based on the transgression and atrocities done to the religion of Allah by the European countries in many places such as Afghanistan and Mali."
The British foreign secretary, William Hague, stayed silent and there was no confirmation if a Briton was one of the hostages, as claimed. News has been scarce until Saturday.
Saturday 10:10pm GMT
The BBC evening news reports that the UK foreign office is urgently trying to verify the claim that all seven hostages are dead. Ansaru used the Internet to post claims that all seven hostages died as a rescue mission was launched. For the first time the news reporter said "seven hostages, including one Briton".
Sunday 12noon GMT
"The group, Ansar al-Muslimeen (widely known as Ansaru), released video stills of some of the bodies and blamed the deaths on a joint Nigerian-British military operation intended to free the hostages. Neither of those governments confirmed the purported operation", reports CNN.
The UK foreign secretary, William Hague, has made no announcement but it must now be fair to assume that one Briton was among the hostages, which reportedly included women and at least one child. A brief foreign office statement read, "We are aware of reports of the death of a British national in Nigeria and are urgently investigating. We urge the media not to speculate at this extremely sensitive time."
Friday a Special Forces operation resulted in the death of kidnapped British hostage Chris McManus. Chris and Italian Franco Lamolinara were kidnapped in May. The rescue mission was launched as, according to UK PM David Cameron, their lives were in imminent danger. Both hostages died. There are conflicting reports Sunday as to whether these two hostages were caught in cross-fire or executed.
British construction worker Brendan Vaughn is "likely to have been killed" by his captors, said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. He called the murder of Mr Vaughn and the other six hostages "an act of pure cold-blooded murder".
Another failed rescue attempt results in death. Would the outcome have been the same without intervention? Sadly we will never know.