An Italian and a British hostage kidnapped in May in Nigeria were killed on Thursday by their captors during a joint raid by British and Nigerian forces in an operation to free them, Italy's government said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron called Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to inform him of the "tragic conclusion" of the operation, a statement said.
The joint forces intervened to free Italian Franco Lamolinara and Briton Christopher McManus because they were fearful that their lives were under threat, the statement said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday he had authorized a failed rescue bid for a Briton and Italian held hostage in Nigeria after receiving information on their location and that their lives were in imminent danger.
He named the two as Briton Chris McManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara.
"We are still awaiting confirmation of the details, but the early indications are clear that both men were murdered by their captors, before they could be rescued," he said.