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Freed Journalist Arrives in US         08/27 06:17

   Journalist Peter Theo Curtis returned home to the United States on Tuesday, 
two days after being freed by a Syrian extremist group that held him hostage 
for 22 months, his family said.

   BOSTON (AP) -- Journalist Peter Theo Curtis returned home to the United 
States on Tuesday, two days after being freed by a Syrian extremist group that 
held him hostage for 22 months, his family said.

   Curtis family spokeswoman Betsy Sullivan said in a statement that Curtis 
arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport Tuesday afternoon after leaving 
Tel Aviv. By evening he had been reunited with his mother Nancy Curtis at 
Boston Logan International Airport.

   "I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have 
come up to me today --- strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants, and 
most of all my family --- to say welcome home," Curtis said in the statement.

   He also said he was "deeply indebted" to the U.S. officials who worked to 
get him released.

   Curtis, 45, of Boston, was released by al-Nusra Front, a Sunni extremist 
group.

   Last week, journalist James Foley, who also was kidnapped in 2012 while 
covering the Syrian uprising, was killed. The Islamic State group posted a Web 
video showing his beheading.

   The extremists said they killed the Rochester, New Hampshire, resident in 
retaliation for U.S. airstrikes targeting Islamic State positions in northern 
Iraq.

   Curtis' mother said she was "overwhelmed with relief" that her son had been 
returned to her. "But this is a sober occasion because of the events of the 
past week," she said. "My heart goes out to the other families who are 
suffering."

   U.S. freelance journalist, Austin Tice of Houston, disappeared in Syria in 
August 2012. He is believed to be held by the Syrian government.


(KA)


 
 
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