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Journalists freed after six-month Syrian ordeal

Spanish photographer Ricardo García Vilanova and journalist Javier Espinosa, who were kidnapped in Syria last September, have been released

After six months in captivity, photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova and El Mundo journalist Javier Espinosa have arrived back in Spain, the newspaper has announced. “El Mundo said [both men] made contact Saturday evening from Turkey, where they were in the care of the military,” the Associated Press reports.

It remains unclear whether both men escaped from their captors, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Espinosa and Garcia Vilanova were working for El Mundo when they were abducted on 16 September 2013 at a checkpoint in the town of Tal Abyad in the eastern province of Raqqa.

In a press conference held by El Mundo earlier today, both journalists declined to explain how they were released.

Syria remains one of the most dangerous countries for journalists with more than 20 of them remaining in captivity – including French photographer Edouard Elias.