NBC Crew Freed from Syria Captors

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NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and two of his colleagues were freed from captivity yesterday following a firefight in Syria. They arrived in Turkey today.

Richard Engel, NBC's Chief Foreign Correspondent, and two of his colleagues arrived in Turkey on December 18 after being held in captivity in Syria for five days by an unknown group.

NBC released a statement saying that Engel, cameraman John Kooistra, and producer Aziz Akyavas were freed unharm.

[Richard Engel, NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent]:
"The last five days were very difficult. We are very happy to be out, we are very happy to be back in Turkey. We love being here, we love this county and we appreciate all the help. The last five days are some days we would rather forget."

During an interview on the network's Today Show, Engel recalled being ambushed by about 15 gunmen who bound and blindfolded his crew. His crew was constantly moved from location to location. However, the group was stopped at a checkpoint by anti-Assad militia, where a firefight ensued, killing two of the captors.

The identity of the captors is still unknown, though Engel believes they were militia members loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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