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Two Swedish journalists abducted in Syria released

UPDATE: On 4 January 2013, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkish intelligence services had helped secure the release of photojournalist Bünyamin Aygün, who had been held for more than a month. (CPJ, 8 January 2013)

Magnus Falkehed and Niclas Hammarström, two Swedish journalists who were kidnapped near the Lebanese border in Syria on 23 November, have been released, the Swedish government said today.

“We are very relieved to learn that these two journalists have been released safe and sound,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We nonetheless continue to be concerned about the 16 other foreign journalists (four of them French) and the more than 30 Syrian citizen journalists who are still held in Syria.”

Normally based in Paris, Falkehed works for many Swedish publications including the daily Dagens Nyheter and the magazine Sydsvenskan. Hammarström is a freelance photographer.

According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, they are currently in Lebanon. No details about their abduction or release have so far been made public.

An offensive by the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups against ISIS, a Jihadi group linked to Al-Qaeda, has resulted in the recent release of other news providers, including Turkish photographer Bunyamin Aygün and Syrian citizen-journalists Ahmed Bremo and Milad Al-Shibahi.

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