European leaders confirmed today that Islamic militants in Nigeria have killed seven foreign hostages, the worst such violence there in decades, the AP reports. Nigerian officials have kept quiet since the guerrilla splinter group Ansaru released a video saying it killed the workers, who were kidnapped Feb. 16 from a construction company. Four were from Lebanon, and one apiece from Italy, Greece, and Britain.
"It's an atrocious act of terrorism, against which the Italian government expresses its firmest condemnation," said Italy's foreign ministry. Greek officials noted the terrorists hadn't negotiated to release the hostages. Online, Ansaru said it killed the hostages partly over reports that British military aircraft were landing in Nigeria. Now Nigerian officials may come under pressure to stem the country's tide of violence, which has left hundreds dead in an attack on the UN, shootings, and church bombings. (Read more Nigerian violence stories.)