FOUR former Royal Marines are being held captive in Eritrea accused of spying, The Sun can reveal.The British security workers were seized eight weeks ago by the African state's navy as they guarded a merchant vessel against piracy.
It is thought they were approached for paperwork before shots were exchanged.
Four were held and are now languishing in a single cell. Two more fled on a boat - but were captured off the coast of Eritrea and left without food or water on a tiny Red Sea island.
The pair were later rescued by colleagues believed to be working for a firm supplying ships with ex-UK military to guard against Somali pirates.
A source said: "It's terrifying. Eritrea is linked by the UN to supplying arms to Islamic fanatics in Somalia. We understand the Foreign Office are struggling to find out even if the four are safe and alive. The fear is they'll be passed to insurgent groups or worse."
The Foreign Office yesterday said: "We can confirm four British nationals are detained in Eritrea."