2 abducted Italians freed in Syria after a week

2 abducted Italians freed in Syria after a week

Two Italian technicians, who worked as subcontractors in Syria for Italian energy group Ansaldo, were released after going missing for a week, the official SANA news agency said.

“During operations to cleanse some (rebel) areas in the province of Damascus, Syrian troops managed to liberate the two Italian technicians, who were kidnapped by an armed terrorist group,” the report said.

“The two men said they had been kidnapped by a group of about 15 terrorists and were poorly treated during their captivity,” it added.
Italian media named the pair as Oriano Catari, 64, and and Domenico Tedeschi, 36.

According to the Genoa newspaper Il Secolo XIX, the two men were employed at a power plant in Deir Ali near Damascus, on behalf of the Syrian national electric company.
Italian media reported that the pair are expected to be flown back to Italy later on Saturday night.

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi in a note welcomed the reported release of the pair.

“During the night and over the last few hours, I have closely followed this very delicate stage of the affair, along with Italy’s crisis unit and the foreign ministry staff,” Terzi said.

“The release of our two co-nationals by the groups which had been holding them is a very positive development. We are continuing to follow the affair through diplomatic channels, which have been active from the start, in order to foster a rapid conclusion, with the ultimate return of our citizens to Italy.”

Italian news agency AGI managed to speak to Catari on the phone from a hotel in Damascus. “We’re well, it’s been pretty tough. Who kidnapped us? We too would like an answer to that,” he said. “It’s difficult to say because the situation was very confused, and those who took us had their faces covered.”

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