Italian secret services freed activist held hostage in eastern Africa

Italian secret services freed activist held hostage in eastern Africa

The Italian secret services have freed Silvia Romano, an activist, after 18 months as a hostage in eastern Africa.

She was freed from suspected Islamist group al-Shabab near Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Saturday, reports say.

Silvia Romano, 24 years old, was volunteering with a small NGO in Kenya when she was abducted in November 2018 during an attack by gunmen.

She converted to islam during her captivity with the kidnapper.

Italy’s secret service is said to have been assisted by Turkey and Somalia to secure her release.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction 18 months ago.

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte thanked the Italian intelligence agents who made her release possible.

Romano was the first foreign citizen to be kidnapped in Kenya since the country had a spate of abductions that threatened its tourism resurgence in 2011.

Neal Path

Neal Path is a reporter covering international affairs and defense news. He leads a team of specialist technical journalists and defense forecasting analysts, working across a range of online products. Neal Path is a defense technology specialist and has written widely on most areas of defense technology, but his particular areas of interest include missile defense, precision weapons, naval warfare, sensor capabilities and military operations.