Italian government, Canadian government and the Catholic Church officials have all confirmed that two Italian priests and a Canadian nun, who were working as missionaries, have been abducted from northern Cameroon before dawn on Saturday. Sources claim that they were abducted from their residences by two armed groups in the western African country.
Italy’s foreign ministry has officially identified the priests as Giampaolo Marta and Gianantonio Allegri, though they refused to reveal the identity of the Canadian involve, alleging that it might compromise efforts for the missionaries’ release. Travelers are guided against visiting the area within 30 kilometres from the border with Nigeria “in consideration of the risk of kidnappings due to presence of jihadist elements coming from Nigeria.” According to a spokesperson from the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Ottawa, they have been briefed about the situation. The spokesperson alleged that “we are pursuing all appropriate channels to seek further information and are in close contact with Cameroonian authorities.”