Italian engineer kidnapped in Nigeria
5/31/2012 11:50:05 AM -
ROME (AFP) - Gunmen abducted an Italian engineer on Monday in Kwara State, central Nigeria, Italy's foreign ministry told AFP on Thursday.
"We can confirm an Italian engineer has been kidnapped. We don't yet know why or by whom," said the ministry spokeswoman. Italian officials were in contact with Nigerian authorities and the man's family, she added.
The ministry would not confirm the man's identity. "As in all hostage cases, we cannot risk jeopardising the situation by releasing sensitive information," said the spokeswoman.
Italian building and civil engineering firm Borini Prono confirmed that one of their employees had been abducted on Monday, but would not release further details.
"We're waiting anxiously for a development," a Borini Prono spokesman said. "We have a representative in Nigeria who is working closely with the government, local police and Italian embassy."
Borini Prono works mainly on road-building.
According to Nigerian police reports cited by the Corriere della Sera newspaper, unidentified armed men snatched the engineer as he inspected road-draining works in the city of Ilorin, the regional capital.
The kidnapping comes just two months after an Italian hostage was killed in Nigeria. Franco Lamolinara, who was also an engineer, was killed along with his British colleague Chris McManus during a failed rescue bid.
A faction of the Islamist Boko Haram sect was accused of being responsible for kidnapping the two engineers.