Italian kidnapped in Nigeria has been freed- Italy government

ROME Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:31pm EST

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ROME (Reuters) - An Italian man kidnapped in Nigeria last week has been released, the Italian foreign ministry said on Thursday without giving further details.

Marcello Rizzo, 55, from Sicily, was working for the Italian construction company Gitto Costruzioni when he was kidnapped in the Niger delta in southern Nigeria. He had been living in the country for eight years.

"We can confirm he has been freed but we have no more information to give at the moment," a foreign ministry spokeswoman said when asked about reports on Italian news agencies.

The Italian government announced Rizzo had been kidnapped on December 6, but officials said he was reported missing a few days earlier.

Kidnappings in southern Nigeria tend to be for ransom and the victims are often released. Abductions in the north are more often the work of Islamist militant groups linked to al Qaeda.

(Reporting By Gavin Jones; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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