April 8, 2016 / 2:32 PM / in 2 years

Italian man kidnapped last year in Philippines has been freed: ministry

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian man who was kidnapped last year in the Philippines has been freed, Italy’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday, and the former missionary’s family had been notified.

Rolando del Torchio was taken at gunpoint in October from his pizzeria in the city of Dipolog in the restive southern region of Mindanao.

Small Islamist and communist rebel factions, as well as criminal gangs, operate in the Mindanao region and often snatch people in the hope that ransoms will be paid.

Filipino authorities found del Torchio in the Sulu Archipelago, according to a statement, which gave no details about who held him or how he was released.

Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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