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Latino Daily News

Monday December 9, 2013

Two Spanish Journalists Kidnaped by Rebel Group in Syria

Spaniard Javier Espinosa, the special correspondent covering the Syrian conflict for the Spanish daily El Mundo, was abducted and is being held by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, along with photojournalist Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, the publication said on Monday.

The daily reported in its Monday edition that the kidnapping took place on Sept. 16 at the Tal Abyad checkpoint in Raqqa province just a few kilometers (miles) from the border with Turkey, when the pair were trying to leave Syria.

El Mundo said that since that time no further word has come to it about Espinosa’s kidnapping due to the discretion demanded according to the indirect contacts that have been maintained with the kidnappers, who - the paper says - have not revealed what they want in exchange for the two journalists.

The two men were captured along with four combatants of Ahfad al Moustapha - one of the Free Syrian Army brigades - who were providing protection for them and who were released 12 days after being abducted.

Espinosa, who was born in Malaga in 1964 and graduated with a degree in journalism from Madrid’s Universidad Complutense, was previously kidnapped in 1999 in Sierra Leone and was evacuated from the press center in the city of Homs after the Syrian army bombarded it on Feb. 22, 2012.

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