Four Italian journalists kidnapped in Syria freed

Four Italian journalists kidnapped and held in Syria since April 4 have been freed, Italy's interim Foreign Minister Mario Monti said in a statement.

Mr Monti did not provide further details regarding who had taken the reporters hostage nor any regarding their release, but state news agency ANSA said the journalists were now in Turkey and would return to Italy this evening.

Italy's interim Foreign Minister Mario Monti made the announcement today. Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The Foreign Minister thanked those involved in securing the reporters' release "which was particularly complicated because of the dangerous context", the statement said.

They had been in Syria to film a documentary about a rebel faction close to al-Qaida, Italian media reported.

Though the Foreign Ministry has not released their names, Italian media have named them as RAI journalist Amedeo Ricucci, freelancers Elio Colavolpe and Andrea Vignali, and Italian-Syrian reporter Susan Dabbous.