Italian aid workers freed in Syria

Prime minister's office announces release of Greta Ramelli and Vanessa Marzullo who disappeared in Aleppo last year.

    Two Italian aid workers held hostage in Syria have been freed, Italian officials have announced.

    The Italian prime minister's office on Thursday announced the release of 21-year-old Greta Ramelli and 20-year-old Vanessa Marzullo on Twitter.

    It was later confirmed that the two women had arrived in Rome after landing at Ciampino military airport.

    The Foreign Ministry confirmed the news, but was unable immediately to provide details of their release.

    The women, from the northern Lombardy region, disappeared in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo in late July or early August. It wasn't clear at the time who had taken them.

    The two aid workers appeared in a video released earlier this month, asking the Italian government to help bring them home, with Ramelli saying they could be killed. Marzullo held a piece of paper with the date December 17, 2014, written on it.

    Kidnappings in opposition-held territory have become common, particularly since mid-2013.

    SOURCE: AP


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