US television journalist Richard Engel has been freed after being kidnapped in Syria and held for five days, his employer, NBC News, said today.

“After being kidnapped and held for five days inside Syria by an unknown group, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and his production crew members have been freed unharmed,” the Network said in a statement.

“We are pleased to report they are safely out of the country,” it said.

Engel, 39, is one of the most high-profile American journalists to report from Syria, where rebels have been fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in a civil war that has claimed some 43,000 lives according to activists.

NBC said Engel and other unnamed employees went missing shortly after crossing into Syria from Turkey on Thursday, and that it had not been able to contact them until it learned they had been freed yesterday.

The network said there was no claim of responsibility, no contact with the captors and no ransom paid.

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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