Morocco World News
Morocco World News
Rabat, March 3, 2012
According to the Italian daily newspaper the Republica, Italian aid worker Rossella Urru, who was abducted last October along with two Spanish humanitarian workers has been freed on Saturday.
According to the Italian newspaper, Rossella Urru was released in exchange for the release of Abderrahmane Ould Amadou al-Azawad, an AQIM militiaman. The hostage exchange also involved the release of Mauritanian gendarme, Ely Ould Mokktar, kidnapped on December 20 close to the border with Mali.
Three European nationals, two Spaniards and one Italian, were abducted last October in the camp of Rabouni near the southwestern Algerian city of Tindouf.
The abduction took place at midnight on October 22, when the aid workers in Rabuni in the Sahrawi camps in southwestern Algeria, were resting. In the struggle with the kidnappers, Gonyalons was slightly injured and one of the guards of the camp was shot. Ainhoa Fernandez is a member of the Extremadura-based Association of Friends of the Saharawi people, while Gonyalons works for the Basque-based NGO Mundubat Basque. For its part, the Italian Rosella Urru works in the Italian Cooperation Committee for the Liberation of Peoples and had started working in the refugee camps three years ago.
The kidnapping was assisted by elements of the Polisario Front as a mediator confessed to AFP. AQIM fighters who went to the Polisario refugee camps to participate in the kidnapping operation were not armed. “They had accomplices in the camps, members and sympathizers AQIM, who provided the weapons and proceeded to identify the hostages for his capture”, AFP added.
According to Western intelligence elements, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, emir of AQIM, who was also behind the kidnapping of three Spanish aid workers in northern Mauritania in late 2009, is believed to be the mastermind of the kidnapping.
The two individuals from Tindouf, Mamina Laaguir Abdelaziz Ahmed Baba, 29, and Aghdafna Mohamed Hamadi Ahmed Baba, 32 are believed to have been directly involved in the kidnapping of two Spaniards and one Italian, who were working for NGO’s that provide humanitarian aid to the population living in the camps.