Three Spanish journalists return home after Syria kidnapping ordeal: Govt

AFP , Sunday 8 May 2016

Spanish journalists
This combination of undated file handout pictures in unspecified locations created on May 7, 2016 shows (L to R) Spanish freelance journalist Angel Sastre, Spanish freelance journalist Antonio Pampliega and Spanish freelance journalist Jose Manuel Lopez. (Photo: AFP)

Three Spanish journalists who were kidnapped some 10 months ago in Syria returned home to Spain on Sunday, a day after their release, the government said.

"The Spanish journalists Jose Manuel Lopez, Angel Sastre and Antonio Pampliega who were kidnapped in Aleppo in northern Syria almost 10 months ago have arrived at Torrejon air base" near Madrid, the government said in a statement.

The trio, who had been working for various Spanish media as freelancers around the time of their disappearance, were last seen in July 2015 in Aleppo where they had been reporting on fighting.

Their release had been "possible thanks to the collaboration of allies and friends especially in the final phase from Turkey and Qatar", the Spanish government said Saturday in a statement.

Some Spanish media, including top-selling daily newspaper El Pais, said the three had been abducted by Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the Al-Nusra Front.

After they disappeared, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said officials were working with members of Spain's National Intelligence Centre who were in Syria to try and secure their release.

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