Rome, October 13 - An Italian priest from the Rome diocese was kidnapped yesterday in Nigeria, sources said Friday, adding that the foreign ministry's crisis unit has already been alerted and the Rome prosecutor's office anti-terror unit has opened a probe. Rome prosecutors are investigating a suspected terror crime, with Islamist terrorists Boko Haram suspected. Sources said the priest, Florence-born Father Maurizio Pallù, who will be 63 next Wednesday, was stopped with four other people on his way to Benin City in southern Nigeria yesterday. They were stopped by an armed group that stole all their belongings and abducted the priest who has been on a mission to Nigeria for three years. Pallù graduated in history before setting off as a lay missionary around the world, for 11 years. In 1988, when his father died, he joined a Rome seminary and in 1991 was ordained as a priest. Two years later, spent working as a chaplain, he was sent to the Netherlands. The Rome diocese said it was praying for his liberation. Florence Archbishop Cardinal Giuseppe Betori said he was following the case with "apprehension" and urged people to pray for Father Pallù.
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