The Italian Foreign Ministry says two of the four Italian construction workers who were kidnapped in Libya last July may have been killed.

The ministry said in a statement Thursday the families of Fausto Piano and Salvatore Failla had been informed that their loved ones "could" be the victims of a shooting near Sabrata that was depicted in recent published images. It stressed that it couldn't confirm the identities because officials don't have access to the bodies.

The four Italians were working for the Italian construction company Bonatti when they were kidnapped July 19 near an industrial complex owned by the Italian energy giant Eni in the western Libyan city of Mellitah.