Kano: A video posted online appears to show the corpses of some of the seven foreign hostages abducted by Islamic extremists in northern Nigeria and later killed, a gruesome warning of the growing dangers in the region.
The video, viewed by The Associated Press today, matched still images released earlier by the Islamic extremist group Ansaru when it claimed the killings. The face of one of the corpses in the video also resembled that of one of the hostages already named by authorities.
European diplomats said yesterday that the hostages had been killed. On Sunday, Nigerian Interior Minister Abba Moro told the BBC`s Hausa language radio service that those nations said that it was "likely" that their citizens had died in the attack.
"We hope they`re alive," Moro said. Moro did not respond to requests for comment today from the AP. Nigerian officials often speak to the BBC Hausa service, as it is viewed as one of the dominant independent news sources in Nigeria`s predominantly Muslim north.
In the video, a gunman stands in sand, holding a rifle near what appears to be dead bodies. A later shot in the video shows three male corpses, one of whom appears to have been killed by a gunshot wound to the head from a high-powered weapon.
The video has no sound. An accompanying caption for the video in Arabic calls it: "The killing of seven Christian hostages in Nigeria." Another description includes the statement Ansaru released Saturday claiming that it killed the hostages, signed by a man with the nom de guerre Abu Usamatal Ansary.
Ansaru fighters kidnapped the foreigners Feb. 16 from a camp for the construction company Setraco at Jama`are, a town 200 kilometers north of Bauchi, the capital of Bauchi state.
In the attack, gunmen first assaulted a local prison and burned police trucks, authorities said. Then the attackers blew up a back fence at the construction company`s compound and took over, killing a guard in the process, witnesses and police said.