FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attends a session of the lower house of parliament on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rome, Italy April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo
May 9, 2020
MILAN (Reuters) – Silvia Romano, an Italian aid worker who was kidnapped in Kenya 18 months ago has been freed, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Saturday.
“Silvia Romano has been freed. I thank the men and women of the external intelligence service. Silvia, we await for you in Italy!,” Conte wrote on his Twitter account.
He gave no other details and Kenyan government officials were not immediately available to comment.
The Italian news agency ANSA said that Romano was currently in Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
Gunmen seized Romano in November 2018. No group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of Romano, who worked for an Italian charity called Africa Milele. The attack brought fears of an upsurge in activity by militant Islamists.
Police and residents said at the time that the gunmen seized the young woman from a guesthouse in Chakama, a small town south of the border with Somalia and near the coast.
The Somali militant group al Shabaab has periodically staged attacks in Kenya, including an attack on a university in April 2015 in which 148 people were killed.
(Reporting by Francesca Landini in Milan; George Obulutsa in Nairobi; Editing by Frances Kerry)