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Two Italians and a Canadian Kidnapped in Libya Freed

ITALY (Reuters) – 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 traveling, the Italian foreign ministry added in a statement.

The two Italians were technicians employed by construction group Conicos, the foreign ministry said.

“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.

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.

Numerous criminal and armed groups are active in Libya’s vast southern desert, and al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants have long had a presence across the border between Libya and Algeria.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak in Milan and Ahmed Elumami in Tripoli; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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