The city of Ghat, Libya
The city of Ghat, where the three men worked, is seen in Libya near the border with Algeria in this file photo Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Two Italian nationals have been abducted in the southern part of Libya, Italy's foreign ministry has confirmed on Monday (19 September). Some media reports suggest that a Canadian has also been kidnapped.

"The ministry has been informed of the situation and has been following up on developments from the moment it learnt of the case. We are working with the maximum caution, bearing in mind how delicate the situation is," an Italian ministry spokesman told AFP.

All three men reportedly worked for a ground-handling company at Ghat airport near the Algerian border. However, the ministry has not divulged any further details of the victims because of the sensitivity of the case.

Deutsche Welle, citing Italian news agencies, reported that a Canadian national was also kidnapped along with the two Italians. The mayor of the southern Libyan city of Ghat, Qawmani Muhammad, is reported have briefed the media of the kidnapping of the three men.

The development comes almost five months after two Italian construction workers, Gino Pollicardo and Filippo Calcagno, were rescued from their kidnappers in the Libyan city of Sabratha, in March, while two of the pair's colleagues — Fausto Piano and Salvatore Failla — were killed. All the four men were abducted from the Mellitah oil and gas installation in July 2015.