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2 Spanish journalists released after 6 months in Syria

MADRID, March 30 — Two Spanish journalists taken hostage in Syria for more than six months have been released, one of the men told the El Mundo newspaper over phone late Saturday.

"I am Espinosa. Write down the number and call me back, I can't speak much," Javier Espinosa told his newsroom in a brief message at 9:27 p.m. local time (1927 GMT).

Espinosa, the Middle East correspondent of El Mundo since 2002, and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova were captured on Sept. 16 by Islamist extremists at a checkpoint on the border with Turkey when they were attempting to leave Syria after covering the conflict for two weeks.

Espinosa also informed his newsroom over phone that he and Vilanova have been handed over to Turkish soldiers.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry confirmed their release but gave no further details. (PNA/Xinhua)

CTB/RSM

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