Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Canadian, two Italians freed from kidnappers in Libya

A Canadian and two Italians who were kidnapped in southern Libya by armed men in September were freed unharmed and brought to Italy in the early hours of Saturday, Italian authorities said.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi expressed thanks to the Libyan authorities and security forces for their role in liberating the men, technicians who were involved in projects at an airport.

"Today is a moment of relief and joy that I would like to share with the families of our technicians," Renzi said.

Story continues below advertisement

The ministry identified the Italians as Danilo Calonego and Bruno Cacace and the Canadian citizen of Italian origin as Frank Poccia.

Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the two Italians had not been mistreated during their captivity and were in good health. He did not comment on the state of the Canadian citizen.

The Canadian government would only confirm it's offering consular assistance to the Canadian, but did not speak to his condition.

Authorities said they were liberated during the night and brought to Italy on a special flight early on Saturday.

The men were kidnapped on Sept. 19 by armed and masked men who blocked their vehicle in Ghat, a city in southwestern Libya in the Sahara desert near the border with Algeria.

A number of criminal and extremist groups operate in the area, but it wasn't immediately clear which group was involved in this case or what the motive was.

ANSA news agency said they are all technicians involved in projects at the airport in Ghat. The Italians were employed by an Italian construction company. It was not immediately clear whether the Canadian worked for the same company or another one.

Story continues below advertisement

With files from The Canadian Press

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.