Aid worker held hostage in Nigeria killed


A medical aid worker held hostage in Nigeria since March was killed by Islamist militants after their deadline expired, government said.

Three aid workers, Hauwa Mohammed Liman, Alice Loksha and Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, were working in Rann when they were kidnapped by Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA). Khorsa, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) midwife, was killed in September.

Demands made in exchange for the release of the hostages have not been reported.

The Nigerian information ministry, in an emailed statement, did not confirm which women were killed, other than saying it was an aid worker. The presidency later said in a Twitter post Information Minister Lai Mohammed commiserated with the family of Hauwa Liman and noted “the Federal Government did all within its powers to save her life”.

The militants said in a video posted online they would kill at least one hostage once a deadline due to elapse on Monday passed.

The video had also referred to schoolgirl Leah Sharibu (15) abducted in February from her school in Dapchi.

Liman worked in a hospital supported by the ICRC and Loksha as a nurse in a centre supported by UNICEF.
“We are deeply pained by this killing, just like we were by the recent killing of the first aid worker. We will keep negotiations open and continue to work to free innocent women who remain in custody of their abductors,” information minister Mohammed said in a statement.

The ICRC appealed for lives to be spared on Sunday, as the deadline approached.
“We are hearing devastating reports Hauwa has been executed. At this stage, we have no confirmation this is true. We desperately hope not. This situation is heartbreaking and our thoughts remain with the family,” ICRC spokeswoman Krista Armstrong told Reuters in Geneva on Monday.

ISWA split from Boko Haram in 2016 and killed hundreds of soldiers in attacks in north-eastern Nigeria in the past few months, security and military sources told Reuters. Like Boko Haram, it wants to create a separate state in north-east Nigeria that adheres to a strict interpretation of Islamic law.