Friday 19 December 2014

The amazing moment Spanish journalist is reunited with his son after being held hostage in Syria

Two Spanish journalists freed after over six months in Syria

Published 30/03/2014 | 22:10

Freed El Mundo Middle East correspondent Javier Espinosa (R) laughs as his son runs towards him after his arrival at Torrejon de Ardoz airbase near Madrid March 30, 2014. The two Spanish journalists Espinosa and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, who were held hostage in Syria by an al Qaeda-linked militant group for 194 days, were freed and handed over to the Turkish military in good health on Saturday. REUTERS/Paco Campos/Pool (SPAIN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW MEDIA)
Freed El Mundo Middle East correspondent Javier Espinosa (R) laughs as his son runs towards him after his arrival at Torrejon de Ardoz airbase near Madrid March 30, 2014. REUTERS/Paco Campos/Pool
Spanish reporters Javier Espinosa, right, and Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, left, pose for a photo during the ceremony of the Miguel Gil journalisms awards in Barcelona, Spain. The two Spanish journalists were freed after being held captive for six months in Syria by a rogue al-Qaida group, the newspaper for which one of the men worked said Sunday March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Joan Borras, file)
Spanish reporter Javier Espinosa, second right, holds his daughter Nur as he is greeted by his wife Monica Garcia upon his arrival at the military airport of Torrejon in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Paco Campos, Pool)
Freed El Mundo Middle East correspondent Javier Espinosa (R) and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova pose after their arrival at Torrejon de Ardoz airbase near Madrid March 30, 2014. REUTERS/Paco Campos/Pool
Freed freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova arrives at Torrejon de Ardoz airbase near Madrid March 30, 2014. REUTERS/Paco Campos/Pool

This is the moment a Spanish journalist was reunited with his son today after being held hostage in Syria for six months.

It was reported yesterday that the two Spanish journalists held hostage in Syria by an al Qaeda-linked militant group for 194 days had been freed and handed over to the Turkish military in good health.

El Mundo Middle East correspondent Javier Espinosa called the his employer El Mundo newspaper's newsroom late on Saturday to say he and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova had been released and to inform their families.

Spain's Foreign Ministry confirmed the men had been freed, but gave no further details.

The two men were captured September 16 by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rebel group at the checkpoint Tal Abyad in the Raqqa province on the border with Turkey.

Their kidnapping had been kept quiet until December 10 at the request of their families because of negotiations with the rebels holding the men.

They had been travelling with members of the rebel Free Syrian Army, who were also taken by ISIL but released after 12 days.

SYRIA Journa_2.jpg

Spanish reporter Javier Espinosa, second right, holds his daughter Nur as he is greeted by his wife Monica Garcia upon his arrival at the military airport of Torrejon in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Paco Campos, Pool)

The journalists had been attempting to leave Syria after two weeks covering the conflict when they were taken, the newspaper said.

(Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Alison Williams)

Reuters

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