ROME/ATHENS (Reuters) - Seven foreign hostages kidnapped last month by a Nigerian Islamist group from a construction firm compound have been killed, the Italian and Greek Foreign Ministries said on Sunday.
Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansaru said on Saturday it had killed the hostages seized on February 7 in the northern state of Bauchi, adding this was because of attempts by Nigerian and British forces to free them.
Nigerian authorities said on Saturday they had no information on any such killing, and doubted the veracity of the statement.
However, an Italian Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday said: "Our checks conducted in co-ordination with the other countries concerned lead us to believe that the news of the killing of the hostages seized last month is true."
The Greek Foreign Ministry said: "The information we have shows that the Greek citizen is dead," adding, the ministry had informed his family.
The Greeks and Italians both said there had been no attempt by any government forces to free them.
Ansaru kidnapped a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese workers from the compound of the Lebanese firm.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones and Renee Maltezou; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Alison Williams)
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