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A British hostage kidnapped last month in Nigeria has been killed and three others freed, the UK Foreign Office has confirmed.

Ian Squire was one of four Britons taken by suspected militants on 13 October in the Niger Delta area.

The British High Commission and Nigerian authorities negotiated the release of Alanna Carson, David Donovan and Shirley Donovan.

The FCO said the Nigerian authorities were investigating the kidnapping, adding: “Our staff will continue to do all we can to support the families.”

The four Britons taken hostage had all been working for a medical charity in the town of Enekorogha.

Mr Squire, an optician, had been administering free medical aid to local people.

According to reports, Dr and Mrs Donovan have lived in Nigeria for the past 14 years, running a charity called New Foundations, which gives aid to remote villages in the Niger Delta.

Ms Carson, a Specsavers optometrist, is now staying with her family in Northern Ireland, according to her employer.

BBC Lagos correspondent Stephanie Hegarty said locals told her the kidnappers had been operating in the area for around a year. “This is their first kidnapping of foreigners. They had kidnapped very recently the mother of a local politician, but before that they were just carrying out petty crime.

“We know that a ransom was demanded but we don’t know if it was paid.”

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