An Italian hostage has been freed by Muslim rebels in the Philippines.
Eugenio Vagni spent nearly six months in captivity before being released on Saturday. A local politician brought the Red Cross worker to the island of Jolo after mediating with the kidnappers. Anastasia Isyuk a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said: ‘‘Eugenio Vagni is freed today, and he is the last of our colleagues who were kidnapped in the southern Philippines on the 15th of January. We are very happy and relieved to hear this news, and we are very happy that Eugenio will soon be back with his family who has lived through a painful nightmare of almost six months.’‘ Two other Red Cross staff also taken hostage by Abu Sayyaf rebels were set free in April. While officials claim no ransom was paid for Vagni, local reports say two wives and a child of a rebel leader were released in exchange for the Italian.