Armed men kidnapped an Italian couple and their son in southern Mali overnight, their church said on Friday, as violence spreads in a country ravaged by an Islamist insurgency, Trend reports citing Reuters.
A spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses church in neighbouring Senegal said the couple is in their 70s and their son is about 50. They were living in Mali for personal reasons and are not missionaries, he said.
It was not immediately clear who took them, he said. Media outlets reported that a Togolese national was kidnapped along with the Italians, but the spokesman said he could not confirm that.
Italy's foreign affairs ministry confirmed the kidnapping in a statement.
“The Crisis Unit is making every effort - in coordination with the competent State bodies - to find a positive solution to the case," it said.