Italy's foreign minister says 3 Italians kidnapped off Nigeria freed

The Associated Press

ROME - Italy's foreign minister says three Italian shipmen kidnapped last month off Nigeria's coast have been freed.

Minister Giulio Terzi said in a statement today that the three men would be returning home to soon.

Gunmen had attacked their supply ship and taken them hostage on Dec. 23 as they sailed off the coast of Bayelsa state.

It was the latest attack in the West African region that is increasingly dangerous for shippers and oil companies.

Terzi said their freedom was the fruit of successful diplomatic efforts by Italian and Nigerian officials.