Italian hostages released: Two female aid workers in Syria freed by militants

Vanessa Marzullo and Greta Ramelli were taken in August while seeking to provide healthcare assistance in the embattled northern city of Aleppo

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The Independent Online

Two Italian aid workers taken hostage in Syria five months ago have been released and will soon return home, Italy’s government has said.

“Vanessa Marzullo and Greta Ramelli are free and will soon return to Italy,” read a Tweet from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s office.

No details about their release were provided. Some Italian media reported the two 21-year-olds would be flown out of Turkey on Friday.

In August, Italy’s Foreign Ministry said the pair were taken hostage while seeking to provide healthcare assistance in the embattled northern city of Aleppo. Two weeks ago, their captors released a threatening video online demanding the government intervene to bring them home. The video said they were being held by al-Qaeda’s Syria wing, Nusra Front.

“We are in big danger and we could be killed. The government and its militaries are responsible [for] our lives,” one of the women said in English, appearing to read from a statement.

Reuters