Italian aid worker from Milan kidnapped in Kenya

Investigators assume terrorism behind kidnap of Milan aid worker.

Silvia Romano, a 23-year-old volunteer aid worker from Milan, was abducted on 20 November during an armed raid on a trading centre in the town of Chakama in Kilifi county, Kenya, not far from the border with strife-ridden Somalia.

A gang armed with AK-47 assault rifles took Romano from her lodgings and fled after wounding five other people aged between 10 and 23 years.

Witnesses told police the raiders spoke Somali, but links to the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, based in Somalia and responsible for armed raids and kidnappings across the border with Kenya in the past, have not been officially confirmed.

Local police and Rome prosecutors investigating the kidnapping have both stated they are treating the incident as “for terrorism purposes”.

Romano was working for Milele Onlus NGO. After successfully completing her studies in February with a thesis on human trafficking, she was in Kenya for the second time as an aid worker.