The 23-year-old aid worker – who volunteers with Italian NGO Africa Milele Onlus – was kidnapped by six armed men last Tuesday from the coastal community of Kilifi.

Five people were injured by the gunmen during the ordeal, including two children.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the kidnapping, the first involving a foreigner in Kenya in several years.

Local authorities said Romano is alive and will be found “within the shortest time possible”.

“Silvia Romano is alive. We have no doubts,” Kenyan Coastal Regional Police Commander Noah Mwivanda was quoted saying by Italian daily La Repubblica.

Police identified the suspects in Tuesday’s attack as Ibrahim Adan Omar, Yusuf Kuno Adan and Said Adan Abdi.

“The multi-agency team assembled to rescue the lady are doing all they can to rescue her and arrest the abductors, to answer for their crimes in accordance with the law,” Inspector General Joseph K Boinnet said in a statement.