Nigeria Islamist group posts video of murdered hostages

Radical Islamists posted YouTube video of what's presumed to be the bodies of seven Western hostages kidnapped in northern Nigeria last week, claiming that the killings were carried out in in "the name of Allah Most Beneficient Most Merciful."

The Associated Press writes that the silent video footage matches still images of the dead released by the Islamist group, and portrays three male corpses, one apparently dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

Read more from GlobalPost: Islamists kill 7 foreign hostages in Nigeria

The seven abducted workers hailed from Britain, Lebanon, Italy and Greece, noted Reuters, and were initially kidnapped in northern Nigeria in February from Setraco, a Lebanese construction firm located in Jam'are.

The group took responsibility soon after and claimed they carried out the kidnapping  as a response to "atrocities done to the religion of Allah by the European countries in many places such such as Afghanistan and Mali," added Reuters.

The Guardian identified the Islamists as members of Jama'atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan or Ansaru, which split off from Boko Haram over a disagreement regarding killing fellow Muslims.

On March 10th, the Greek and Italian foreign ministries acknowledged the hostages had almost certainly been killed, while British foreign secretary William Hague confirmed to the Guardian that British citizen Brendan Vaughn had likely been murdered as well.