‘Friendly-fire’ ruled out after failed rescue attempt in Nigeria

A quantity surveyor from Oldham was repeatedly shot by kidnappers in Nigeria as a rescue bid got under way, an inquest has heard.

Chris McManus, aged 28, had been working for shopping centre construction firm B Stablini in the country when he and Italian colleague Franco Lamolinara were taken hostage in May 2011.

Both men were killed by their captors when a joint UK and Nigerian rescue operation stormed the compound where they were being held north-west of Sokoto on March 8 last year.

According to The Guardian, an inquest in Salisbury heard that “friendly fire” was ruled out as a cause of death for both men because their gunshot injuries were incompatible with the type of ammunition being used by the rescue force.

It said that both men were found in the same part of the compound and had suffered visible gunshot wounds, apparently inflicted soon into the engagement began.

Mr McManus had died from a single gunshot wound to his head, the inquest heard.

Shortly after his death, Mr McManus’ family said the Salford University graduate had gone to Nigeria to gain professional experience and had been “welcomed like a family member by his employer and colleagues” at B Stabilini.

They added: “He loved Nigeria and the people and made many friends in the country.”