US journalist held in Syria is released safely by Al Qaeda-affiliated group

The US has successful negotiated the release of journalist Theo Curtis who has been held in Syria since 2012.

He has been held by al-Nusra, a group which supports Al Qaeda, and he was reportedly abducted in Turkey.

US secretary of state John Kerry said the US had worked with more than 24 countries to secure the release of Curtis, which comes a week after journalist James Foley was murdered on video by IS.

The US has a policy of not paying ransoms.

Kerry said: "Over these last two years, the United States reached out to more than two dozen countries asking for urgent help from anyone who might have tools, influence, or leverage to help secure Theo's release and the release of any Americans held hostage in Syria."

Curtis was handed over to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.

His mother Nancy said: "Over these last two years, the United States reached out to more than two dozen countries asking for urgent help from anyone who might have tools, influence, or leverage to help secure Theo's release and the release of any Americans held hostage in Syria."

Curtis was abducted in November 2012 and had reported across the Middle East for US publication Global Post and other outlets.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Syria has been the most dangerous country in the world for journalists more than two years.

It estimates that at least 70 journalists have been killed covering the conflict there and more than 80 abducted.

It estimates that 20 journalists are currently missing in Syria, most of whom are Syrian.

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