A Kenyan police officer talks on his phone inside the compound of the command centre that is directing operations in the search for kidnapped Italian volunteer Silvia Costanza Romano, in Malindi, Kenya Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. Gunmen firing indiscriminately on Tuesday kidnapped Romano, a 23-year-old volunteer working with Kenyan students, from the village of Chakama in Kilifi county. (AP Photo)

Kenyan police optimistic about finding kidnapped Italian

November 23, 2018 - 2:47 am

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Kenya's national police chief says authorities are optimistic they will find an Italian woman kidnapped by gunmen earlier this week after people in custody gave "very valuable information."

Joseph Boinnet told reporters on Friday that three "persons of interest" are among 20 people held as police investigate Tuesday's attack on a trading center in the coastal area of Kilifi.

He says police "don't know as of now" who staged the attack and why. It was the first kidnapping of a foreigner in Kenya in several years.

At least three gunmen carried out the attack in which 23-year-old Italian Silvia Costanza Romano was kidnapped. Five others were wounded.

Such attacks had become rare on Kenya's coast since 2011, when the country deployed forces inside Somalia against the al-Shabab extremist group.

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