Italian engineer kidnapped in west Nigeria

LONDON, UK – An Italian engineer has been kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria’s western state of Kwara, Italy’s foreign ministry has said.

The ministry’s press office told the Associated Press that the man was abducted on Monday. It did not give further details, saying only that diplomatic channels had been activated and that Rome was in contact with the Nigerian government.

The ministry would not disclose the man’s identity, but a spokeman for Italian building and civil engineering firm Borini Prono confirmed that one of their employees had been abducted on Monday, according to the Agence France Presse.

"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."

The AFP also reports that Italian media have cited Nigerian police reports which state that unidentified armed men kidnapped the engineer as he inspected road-draining works in the regional capital city of Ilorin.

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According to the BBC, kidnappings in Kwara are not common. Oil workers are often targeted in the south of Nigeria, while Islamist militants are active in the north.

In March an Italian engineer and his British colleague, abducted in the north-west of the country last year, were killed when UK and Nigerian forces tried to free them. 

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