Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun working as missionaries in northern Cameroon were abducted early today.
Italian government and Catholic church officials say they were abducted before dawn in their residences by two armed groups in the western African country.
Italy's foreign ministry identified the priests as Giampaolo Marta and Gianantonio Allegri, but declined to give other details, including the Canadian's identity, to avoid compromising efforts for the missionaries' release.
It noted that its website cautions against travel in the area, 30 kilometres from the border with Nigeria ``in consideration of the risk of kidnappings due to presence of jihadist elements coming from Nigeria.''
A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs in Ottawa says they are trying to get more information and are in close contact with Cameroonian authorities.
Vatican Radio said the three were seized by the armed kidnappers in the diocese of Maroua.
Graphic credit: ibtimes.co.uk