Saturday, Oct. 10
Medics: Palestinian shot by Israeli forces succumbs to wounds
Latest News
  1. Palestinian journalist injured in hand by live fire in Shufat clashes
  2. Palestinian shot dead after alleged stabbing attack near Damascus gate
  3. Palestinian shot dead in Shufat clashes overnight
  4. Jihad Salem Ubeid, 22, dies from Gaza demo injuries
  5. 2 killed, 19 injured as Israeli forces open fire at Gaza demo
  6. Palestinian woman shot, injured after stabbing Israeli in Afula
  7. Israeli stabs, injures 4 Palestinians in Dimona
  8. Army: Israeli moderately injured in Afula stab attack by Palestinian
  9. Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Shufat refugee camp raid
  10. Clashes erupt at Bethlehem's northern entrance
  11. Police: Israeli soldier stabbed in Tel Aviv
  12. Police: Palestinian detained after Israeli stabbed in Jerusalem
  13. Israeli media: Palestinian shot near Jerusalem after car attack
  14. Police: Palestinian stabs Israelis in Petah Tikva, arrested at scene
  15. 84 Palestinians injured by rubber bullets in West Bank clashes
  16. Israeli forces raid home of Jerusalem stab suspect
  17. Reports: Palestinian killed after stabbing soldier in Kiryat Gat
  18. Israeli media: Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli
  19. 2 Palestinians sustain injuries in Dar Salah clashes

NBC news team freed in Syria after firefight

Dec. 18, 2012 3:49 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 19, 2012 12:31 P.M.)
LONDON (Reuters) -- An NBC news team, including chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, was freed in Syria on Monday after an Islamist rebel group killed two of their kidnappers at a checkpoint, the network reported on its website on Tuesday.

The team, which later spoke live on the network, were held captive by an unidentified group for five days.

Engel, 39, along with other employees the network did not identify, disappeared shortly after crossing into northwestern Syria from Turkey on Thursday. The network had not been able to contact them until they were freed.

"It was a very traumatic experience," Engel said on NBC's "Today" program.

Engel, speaking from Antakya, Turkey, said they were not physically beaten but there was psychological torture, including threats of being killed and mock shootings.

The network said the team was bounded and blindfolded but not harmed. There was no claim of responsibility and no request for ransom, NBC said.

"Early Monday evening local time, the prisoners were being moved to a new location in a vehicle when their captors ran into a checkpoint manned by members of the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, a Syrian rebel group," the network said.

"There was a confrontation and a firefight ensued. Two of the captors were killed, while an unknown number of others escaped," it said, adding that the news crew left Syria on Tuesday morning.

Engel said he had "a very good idea" who his captors were.

"This was a group known as the Shabiha. This is a government militia. These are people who are loyal to President Bashar Assad," he said on NBC, adding that the kidnappers spoke openly about their loyalty to the government and their faith.

He said the captors were planning to exchange him and his team for four Iranian agents and two Shabiha members.

Ahrar al-Sham, an extremist Salafist group that includes a large contingent of foreign fighters, has been at the forefront of rebel offensives in the country's north.

Members of the group have told Reuters the unit wants to establish an Islamic caliphate in Syria, not a pluralistic democracy, when Assad is overthrown. But they have not shown hostility to Western journalists covering the conflict.

Engel is an American correspondent who has reported on the popular uprisings that swept the Arab world since 2011.

At least 40,000 people have been killed in Syria's uprising, which started in March 2011 with street protests that were met with gunfire by Assad's security forces, and which spiraled into the most enduring and destructive of the Arab revolts.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015