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Italy Pays No Ransom for Release of Nationals Kidnapped in Libya

© AFP 2021 / MAHMUD TURKIAAn aerial shot taken from a helicopter shows the Libyan capital Tripoli. (File)
An aerial shot taken from a helicopter shows the Libyan capital Tripoli. (File) - Sputnik International
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Italian government paid no ransom for the release of its nationals held hostage in Libya, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Wednesday.

ROME (Sputnik) – In July 2015, four Italians, working for the construction company Bonatti, were kidnapped in western Libya, near the Mellitah Oil and Gas Complex, the starting point of the Greenstream pipeline, jointly operated by the Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni and the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC).

"I would like to clarify that there was no ransom paid for the release of the hostages," Gentiloni stated, speaking in the Senate, the upper house of the Italian parliament.

Libyan security forces stands guard in Benghazi, Libya (File) - Sputnik International
New Victims? Two Italian Hostages Feared Dead in Libya
On March 3, the Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed that two of the hostages had died. The following day, the mayor of the Libyan town of Sabratha announced that two others, Gino Pollicardo and Filippo Calcagno, were released in a special operation conducted by the Libyan security forces.

According to the Libyan media reports, Italians have been in the hands of a Tunisian terrorist group and their kidnappers allegedly demanded 12 million euros ($13 million) to free them.

There was no evidence that the Islamic State extremist group could have been behind the abduction, Gentiloni stressed, adding that the kidnapping seemed to have been perpetrated by local criminal groups with Islamic ties.

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