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Italian journalists freed after abduction

April 13, 2013 at 3:09 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, April 13 (UPI) -- Four Italian journalists are safe in Turkey two weeks after being abducted by Syrian rebel forces while filming a documentary, Italian officials said.

The BBC said the journalists -- identified in Italian media as Amedeo Ricucci, freelancers Elio Colavolpe and Andrea Vignali and Italian-Syrian reporter Susan Dabbous -- were not harmed physically after they were abducted April 4 by an Islamist rebel group that thought they were spies.

Ricucci said the ordeal amounted to "psychological torture," the BBC said.

Syrian President Bashar Assad and an array of forces opposed to his rule have been at arms for nearly two years. The Committee to Protect Journalists said 28 reporters were killed and 21 were abducted in Syria last year.

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