Richard Engel, NBC correspondent, and his crew were freed. Brian Stelter and Sebnem Arsu, NYT:
Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, and three of his crew members were freed on Monday after five days in captivity in Syria, the news organization said on Tuesday.
The identities of the kidnappers and their motives were unknown. But an article on the NBC News Web site quotes Mr. Engel as saying their captors “were talking openly about their loyalty to the government” of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
About 15 men, Mr. Engel said on the “Today” show, “just literally jumped out of the trees and bushes” and “dragged us out of the car.” The kidnappers killed one of the rebels whom the crew had been traveling with, he said. [They subjected Engel and his crew to mock executions]
the crew members were freed when the captors “ran into a checkpoint manned by members of the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, a Syrian rebel group,” NBC’s Web site reported. “There was a confrontation and a firefight ensued. Two of the captors were killed, while an unknown number of others escaped.”
Engel is one of the last real correspondents on TV. As this incident shows, he goes in at great personal risk to places no one wants to go. He’s modest and well-informed. He may be the only person on network TV that I actually enjoy listening to and trust.
So, thanks, God, for getting him out safely.