U.S. hostage missing since 2012 freed in Syria

Photo: U.S. hostage missing since 2012 freed in Syria / Arab World

Kidnappers in Syria on Sunday freed a U.S. journalist missing since 2012 following Qatari efforts to win his release, Reuters reported.

The Qatari-owned television station named the journalist as Peter Theo Curtis, and said he had been handed over to a representative of the United Nations.

His reported release happened just days after the Islamic State militant group fighting in Iraq and Syria issued a video shown the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

That video, together with a threat to kill another American journalist being held hostage, Steven Sotloff, inspired widespread revulsion in the West and a desire to hunt down the killer.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that about 20 journalists are missing in Syria. Many of them are believed to be held by Islamic State.

In a video statement released by Curtis's kidnappers at some point during his captivity, Curtis said he was a journalist from Boston, Massachusetts, Al Jazeera reported.

Commenting on his treatment in that video, Curtis said he "had everything" he needed and "everything has been perfect, food, clothing, even friends now".

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