Two Italian workers and a Canadian taken hostage in Ghat southwestern Libya on September 19 have been freed overnight and were flown to Italy, the Italian foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The three – Danilo Calonego, Bruno Cacace and Frank Poccia – were working on airport projects in Libya’s southwestern desert where they got kidnapped by an armed group that blocked the vehicle in which they were travelling, the ministry added; stating that they were technicians employed by construction group Conicos.
“The three were released in the early hours of Saturday and were handed over to Italian authorities,” said Hassan Ottman, a spokesman for the municipal council in the Libyan town of Ghat.
Italian media reports said the men would be speaking with prosecutors before being reunited with their families.
This is not the first of its kind incident since numerous criminal and armed groups are active in Libya’s vast southern desert where several Italian companies exist.
A former colony, and their expat staff have often fallen prey to kidnappers in recent years.
In July 2015, four Italians working for a construction company were kidnapped near an oil field operated by Italian giant ENI in the region of Mellitah, west of Tripoli; two of the kidnapped were killed six months into their ordeal.