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Two Italians and a Canadian kidnapped in Libya in September have been finally freed

Two Italian workers and a Canadian kidnapped in Libya in September have been freed and were flown to Italy early on Saturday, Italian and Libyan officials said. Danilo Calonego, Bruno Cacace and Frank Poccia were abducted on Sept.19 in Ghat, southwestern Libya, near the site where they worked by an armed group that blocked the vehicle in which they were travelling, the Italian foreign ministry said. The two Italians were technicians employed by construction group Conicos, it added. “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 Prime Minister Matteo Renzi thanked everyone who played a role in the men’s release, especially the authorities and security forces in Libya. “Today is a time of relief and joy that I would like to share with the families of our technicians,” he said. Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the men had not been subjected to any particular violence and were in good health. The men are being interviewed by authorities in Rome before they are expected to be reunited with their families. The men told an investigator that the kidnappers were part of one single criminal group, were not jihadists and “drank alcohol and did not pray”, Italian media reported. All three men were working on airport projects in Libya’s southwestern desert near the border with Algeria when kidnapped, Ghat’s mayor said at the time.

Nigeria: the army frees 178 hostages

Blitz against Boko Haram emplacements. A few days before, Nigerian army has freed 71 women. Meanwhile, Benin announced to provide about 800 soldiers to defeat jihadist organization.

Nigerian army has freed 178 hostages held by Boko Haram on Sunday 2 July. 67 of them were women and 101 children. Aviation has also announced that it has killed several militants after raid near Maiduguri. Other 71 women has been freed on 31st July.

A few hours earlier, Benin announced to provide about 800 soldiers to defeat the Boko Haram. Troops who will be added to weak (for lack of funds) African coalition composed of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Boko Haram is responsible for more than 800 killings since February, when Nigerian President Buhari was elected.

Not only Muslims, but also Christians were targeted by jihadist organization affiliated to Isis. On 30th July 20 fishermen, hailing from Chad, were beheaded in Nigeria: “It was a group of four men, but armed with machine guns and machetes. They explained that the fishermen are emulating Issa (the name of Jesus in the pages of the Koran), a prophet who with his words has attracted many people foolish, trying to corrupt the world,” said a 16 year old who survived the massacre.
Giacomo Pratali


Giacomo Pratali
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