Nigeria hostages: Neighbours were warned to leave
9 March 2012 Last updated at 10:29 GMT
The BBC's Haruna Tangaza has described the scene in Sokoto where two hostages were killed.
He said he had seen the body of a man in the house where a gun battle took place as Nigerian soldiers and British special forces tried to rescue two European hostages, a Briton and an Italian.
When he spoke to neighbours they told him they had seldom seen the occupant of the house.
They confirmed they had been warned to leave their houses and seek safety.