Syria insurgents free Lebanese reporter

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Foreign-sponsored insurgents in Syria have freed a reporter working for a Lebanon-based television network days after he was abducted for releasing reports that were “incompatible” with the Syrian armed groups’ agendas.

Fidaa Itani, who works for private Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI) TV station, has left Syria and is in Turkey on his way back to Lebanon, Reuters reported.

Sources at the Rafik Hariri International Airport said Itani would arrive in the Lebanese capital Beirut later Thursday on board a flight from the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Itani’s abduction was claimed by an insurgent group calling itself the Liwa Asifat al-Shamal (Storm of the North Brigade).

The insurgents said in a statement that the Lebanese journalist had been captured in the town of Aazaz, situated 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Aleppo, after they became suspicious of him taking pictures of them.

Foreign-backed Syrian gunmen seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad have on several occasions attacked Syrian and non-Syrian journalists.
Press TV correspondent Maya Nasser was killed by sniper fire on September 26 as he was reporting live on air.

Hosein Mortada, who serves as Damascus bureau chief for both the English-language Press TV and Arabic-language Al-Alam news networks, was also wounded in the attack.

The pair covered the aftermath of the twin massive explosions that hit the Syrian Army headquarters in Damascus.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the insurgents are foreign nationals.

 

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