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Europeans held in Syria are freed

An Italian journalist and a Belgian national who were kidnapped in Syria in April have been freed.

The Italian government announced that Domenico Quirico would arrive soon on a flight to Rome.

Premier Enrico Letta's office added in a statement that Belgian Pierre Piccinin was also "free" and was flying to Italy with Mr Quirico.

The premier's office said "hope had never faded" for Mr Quirico's safe return but gave no details on how he became free.

Mr Quirico entered Syria from Lebanon on April 6 and disappeared three days later while travelling to the city of Homs in the war-torn country.

It was unclear who had held the men.

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