Two Swedish journalists held in Syria set free

by Reuters
Wednesday, 8 January 2014 15:42 GMT

STOCKHOLM, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Two Swedish journalists have been set free after they went missing in Syria in November, Sweden's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Magnus Falkehed and Niclas Hammarstrom were in Beirut and being assisted by Swedish diplomatic staff, a ministry spokeswoman said.

She gave no details on what had happened to them since their disappearance, when the ministry said they had been "taken away".

Sweden's National Bureau of Investigation said the release of the two Swedes was the result of the bureau's cooperation with Swedish and foreign authorities, but declined to say whether that cooperation included Syrian authorities.

"Great relief that the two Swedish journalists are out of Syria. But unfortunately there are still others held against their will," Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt wrote on Twitter.

Syria ranks as the most dangerous place in the world for journalists, according to The Committee to Protect Journalists, with at least 29 killed in 2013 and about 60 abducted. As of late 2013, at least 30 were still missing, it said. (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam, additional reporting by Tom Miles in Geneva)

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