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Three Journalists Kidnapped in Syria Return to Spain

  • VOA News

This photo made available by Presidencia del Gobierno on Sunday, May 8, 2016, the three freed Spanish journalists Antonio Pampliega, right, Jose Manuel Lopez, left, and Angel Sastre, arrive at the Torrejon military airbase in Madrid, Spain.

This photo made available by Presidencia del Gobierno on Sunday, May 8, 2016, the three freed Spanish journalists Antonio Pampliega, right, Jose Manuel Lopez, left, and Angel Sastre, arrive at the Torrejon military airbase in Madrid, Spain.

There was an emotional scene at a Spanish air base near Madrid Sunday when three Spanish journalists came home after 10 months in captivity in Syria.

Jose Manuel Lopez, Antonio Pampliega, and Angel Sastre were greeted by relieved and sobbing family members as they stepped off a defense ministry jet.

Although the circumstances of their capture and release are unclear, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy thanked "allied and friendly countries" for winning their freedom, particularly Turkey and Qatar.

Gunmen kidnapped the three when they crossed into northern Syria from Turkey last July to report on the fighting in Aleppo.

The journalists told Spanish media they were treated well during their captivity but say Pampliega was held separately from his colleagues for most of the time.

None of them are sure exactly where they were being held or who captured them.

All three of the journalists were experienced war zone correspondents and had all reported from Syria in the past.

According to Reporters Without Borders, a media rights group, Syria is the most dangerous country in the world for journalists.

A number of Western reporters have been kidnapped by various rebel groups in Syria and by the Syrian government itself over the last five years.

WATCH: Related video of journalists' release

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