The British government says one UK missionary who was kidnapped in Nigeria last month has been killed but three others have been freed.
The Foreign Office said on Monday that Alanna Carson, David Donovan and Shirley Donovan have returned to their families, but Ian Squire “was tragically killed.”
The four were abducted in the Niger Delta region on October 13.
The missionaries had been operating a series of clinics in Nigeria for the past 14 years, despite the high risk across Delta State from kidnappers, armed robbers and pirates.
Friends of Ian Squire branded his captors “despicable” as they paid tribute to the optician who had set up his own charity to save people’s sight in Africa. The 57-year-old ran his own opticians in Shepperton, Surrey, and had been founder and chairman of the Christian charity Mission for Vision since 2003. He founded the charity to provide training and eye equipment for clinics in countries including Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique.
Monica Chard, a friend, said: “He was a lovely, quiet man who everyone knew and loved as the village optician. “He went out to Africa every year with the charity and his wife was also involved. He just wanted to help people see who otherwise would not have had any help.”
According to his website, Mr Squire had made 13 trips for the charity since 2003, accompanied by other opticians and volunteers, and in 2013 had joined forces with the Donovans on his first visit to Nigeria. Mr Donovan, a GP from Cambridge, and his wife, both aged 57, run their own Christian health charity called New Foundations, with a string of remote clinics in the Delta region.