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2020-05-10

Italian freed aid workers return home on special flight

Image:-Silvia Romano, an Italian aid worker who was kidnapped by gunmen in Kenya 18 months ago

Silvia Romano, an Italian aid worker kidnapped in East Africa 18 months ago, landed a day after being freed in Rome on Sunday.

In November 2018, Gunmen seized Romano, who had been working for an Italian charity called Africa Milele in northern Kenya.

She was found in Somalia, some 30 kilometers (19 miles) outside Mogadishu's capital, and released thanks to efforts by the external intelligence agency, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said.

At around 2 p.m. Romano touched down on a special flight at Rome's Ciampino airport. (GMT:1200).

"Fortunately, I am well, both physically and mentally. I want to spend some time with my family now. After all this time I'm so happy to be back, "Romano said on arrival in a video posted on the web site of the daily Corriere della Sera.

Escorted by the intelligence service masked men, Romano wore a green tunic that was pulled up to cover her head but not her face. Italian news agency ANSA reported she had converted to Islam during her time in captivity, citing investigative sources.

Romano temporarily removed to wave her protective mask as she descended the steps from the Italian air force jet before hugging relatives at the airport waiting for her.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Di Maio congratulated her.

Church bells saluted her arrival in her Milan home neighborhood, with lots of people on their balconies, SKY TG24 showed.

Later on Sunday Romano was expected to meet with the prosecutors in Rome.

Conte said the task force working to liberate Romano had been "for the last months" in the final stages, after having evidence that she was still alive. He added that there was no revealing of details so as not to compromise the operation.

"We are so delighted to welcome Silvia back to the country in such a delicate moment. The State is always there, and always will be there, "said Conte.

He thanked the intelligence services, the judiciary and the ministries of defence and foreign affairs, all involved in the release of the young woman.

Italian newspapers reported that Italy's intelligence services had been working with their counterparts in Somalia and Turkey to free Romano.

"Right now, I'm literally bursting with joy. But even just thinking is hard, please let me breathe. I have to resist the shock, happiness is so big it's exploding, "Silvia's father Enzo was quoted by several Italian newspapers on Sunday as saying.

Article Edited by | John Heine |

Jhon is an incredibly talented freelance writer. He has been working of about 18 months as a reporter for some internet based print-based newspapers. He brings together significant news reports from the Technology and entertainment areas. we hope you're doing well if you see any inappropriate phrases please let us know on our contact page at the bottom. thank you!    .

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