Four Italian journalists have been abducted in northern Syria, the Italian Foreign Ministry said, the ANSA news agency reported late Friday.
The Italian authorities said they had been monitoring the case from the start but called for “maximum discretion”, insisting that “the physical safety of the hostages remains the absolute priority”, the ANSA report said. The La Repubblica website said the abducted were three freelance journalists and one reporter working for the Italian public broadcaster RAI.The paper identified the journalists as Amedeo Ricucci, Elio Colavolpe, Andrea Vignali and Susan Dabous, adding that they were apparently abandoned by their guides as they crossed into Syria.
The newspaper said the journalists were kidnapped “by a rebel group” while out filming. The website of the La Stampa daily added that the four were taken overnight Thursday to Friday. The incident occurred in the same border area where American freelance journalist James Foley was abducted in November, 2012.
Their families have already been informed, the Foreign Ministry said. In February, an Italian citizen and two Russians kidnapped on December 12 in the west of Syria were freed as part of an exchange for Militants. Syria’s government on Tuesday offered kidnappers an amnesty deal, giving them fifteen days to hand over victims or face sentences ranging from life with hard labor to execution, if their victims were murdered or sexually abused.
Source: News Agencies