March GP and his wife are released by Nigerian kidnappers - but one of their party has been killed

PUBLISHED: 14:25 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:22 06 November 2017

Dr David Donovan, the March GP who has been kidnapped with his wife in NIgeria. (PHOTO: Archant)

Dr David Donovan, the March GP who has been kidnapped with his wife in NIgeria. (PHOTO: Archant)

Archant

Kidnappers in Nigeria have released a March doctor and his wife after they were taken while on medical missionary work three weeks ago.

Dr David Donovan, who practices at Riverside surgery, but is due to switch to Cornerstone, and his wife Shirley, were today released.

Another woman, called Alanna Carson is also released. One man from the party, Ian Squires, has been killed.

The four Britons were taken by suspected militants on 13 October from the oil-rich Delta area.

The Donovans run a charity called New Foundations, offering free medical care to local people, along with their two sons Julian and Aiden.

The British High Commission and Nigerian authorities negotiated the release.

A statement issued on behalf of the families of David Donovan and Shirley Donovan, Alanna Carson, Ian Squire says: “Alanna, Ian, David and Shirley were kidnapped in Nigeria some three weeks ago.

“We are grateful for the support received by the British High Commission, and help from the Nigerian authorities in negotiating their release.

“We are delighted and relieved that Alanna, David and Shirley have returned home safely. Our thoughts are now with the family and friends of Ian as we come to terms with his sad death.

“This has been a traumatic time for our loved ones who were kidnapped and for their families and friends here in the UK.

“We would therefore ask that the media respect our privacy as we come to terms with the news. We will not be making any further comment.”

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the families of four British people who were abducted on 13 October in Nigeria, one of whom was tragically killed.

“This has clearly been a traumatic time for all concerned, and our staff will continue to do all we can to support the families.

“We are grateful to the Nigerian authorities, and are unable to comment given the ongoing nature of their investigations.

“We are grateful to media for respecting the privacy of the families.”

Mr Squire, 57, an optician from, Shepperton, Surrey, had previously visited Nigeria to carry out work for his self-founded charity, Mission for Vision, which makes annual trips to remote regions of Africa to carry out “comprehensive eyecare programmes”.

Squire had been travelling to Nigeria since 2013, when he joined forces with the Donovans’ New Foundations, a Christian health charity. During that first mission it set up an eye clinic, with facilities for sight testing, dispensing and spectacle glazing.

Alanna Carson worked as an optometrist at Specsavers in Leven, Fife.

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