Silvia Constanza Romano, an Italian aid worker kidnapped in Kenya in November 2018, was rescued on Saturday in Somalia following an international effort that included the contributions of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT).
Romano was flown to Rome on Sunday where she was reunited with her family and was said to be in good spirits.
The identity of the armed group that captured 25-year-old Romano is not clear, but she was rescued near the Somali capital after Italian authorities requested help from MİT in December 2019 to determine her location, according to a Reuters report on Monday. Romano came to Kenya in 2018 as a volunteer with an Italian charity called Africa Milele Onlus.
Italian news reports emphasized that Turkey’s increased presence in the region was largely responsible for Romano’s rescue.
Romano told the Italian news agency, ANSA, that the men who captured her guaranteed that she would not be killed and treated her well while she was in captivity.
She also was reported to have converted to Islam on her own volition during the final months of her kidnapping, and that she did not have a relationship or marriage with any of her captors.
Romano reportedly learned Arabic and requested to read a Quran in the months leading up to her rescue.