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Italian journalist, Belgian released from Syrian captivity

Sept. 9, 2013 at 8:53 AM   |   Comments

ROME, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Italian journalist Domenico Quirico and Belgian Pier Piccinin arrived in Rome Monday after being held captive in Syria, officials said.

Turin daily La Stampa journalist Quirico was abducted April 9 by jihadist rebels while attempting to travel to Homs to report on the Syrian civil war.

At one point, he was no longer being held by jihadists, though details about his whereabouts and captors were not reported.

The date and circumstances surrounding the abduction of Piccinin were not reported.

The two arrived at Rome's Ciampino airport and Piccinin immediately traveled on to his home country, ANSA reported.

Quirico appeared tired and in good health, the news service said.

"I have lived the past five months as if I were on Mars,'' he said. My abductors "did not treat me well and I was scared. The revolution betrayed me."

Details about why the two captives were released were not reported. ANSA said a ransom wasn't paid.

Quirico was previously a captive in Libya. He and three colleagues were held for a brief period there in 2011, ANSA said.

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