Spain seeks three journalists missing in Syria

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José Manuel López, Ángel Sastre and Antonio Pampliega
Jose Manuel Lopez, Angel Sastre and Antonio Pampliega

Madrid - Officials could not yet confirm whether the men had been kidnapped.


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Published: Wed 22 Jul 2015, 3:34 PM

Last updated: Sat 25 Jul 2015, 1:40 PM

Madrid, July 22, 2015 (AFP) - Spanish intelligence agents were working urgently Wednesday to track down three journalists from Spain, the latest foreigners to go missing while reporting in Syria.
Spain's foreign minister said embassies and the intelligence service were "fully active" in the search for the three who have been missing for 10 days in a war zone where numerous foreigners have been kidnapped in the past.
The journalists have not been heard from since 10 days ago, when they were reporting in Aleppo, a city in northwestern Syria that has been devastated by fighting, the Spanish press federation FAPE said.
Officials could not yet confirm whether the men had been kidnapped.
Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo called for caution over reports that the Spaniards were seen being taken away by men in an area of Aleppo controlled by several rebel groups.
"No demands have been made so far" by any apparent captors, said Garcia-Margallo.
A local monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, cited witnesses saying the three were seen being taken away in the Maadi district on July 13.
Garcia-Margallo said he had been in contact with various embassies, United Nations representatives and members of Spain's National Intelligence Centre in Syria.
The Spanish press federation FAPE identified the three journalists as Jose Manuel Lopez, Antonio Pampliega and Angel Sastre.
They entered Syria via southern Turkey on July 10 and were last seen on July 12, said Elsa Gonzalez, president of the Federation of Press Associations of Spain.
The three journalists had worked recently for various media including Spanish newspapers La Razon and ABC, which was the first on Tuesday to report their disappearance.
It says at least 44 journalists have been killed since the conflict broke out in 2011 in Syria.

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