Video released of two Italian women held hostage in Syria

The Italian pair were reportedly kidnapped in August near Aleppo

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The Independent Online

A video released online purports to show two Italian women held by militants in Syria, with one of them saying their lives are in danger.

The video was uploaded to YouTube on New Year's Eve and reportedly shows 21-year-olds Vanessa Marzullo and Greta Ramelli. The Italian women are both dressed in black robes covering their entire body bar the face.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that the pair were kidnapped in August near Aleppo and, citing Arab media, claim they have been sold on through several militant groups in Syria.

In the unverified video, Ramelli is holding a piece of paper reading "17.12.14 Wednesday" and Marzullo reads from a presumably prepared statement, calling on the Italian government to release them before Christmas or they could be killed.

"We are Greta Ramelli and Vanessa Marzullo," Marzullo says. "We supplicate our government and its mediators to bring us home before Christmas. We are in big danger and we could be killed. The government and mediators are responsible for our lives."

The title of the video on YouTube states that the women are two Italian workers and that they are being detained by the Syrian Al-Qaeda wing, Nusra Front.

Italy's Foreign Ministry have not confirmed the authenticity of the video. Marzullo's father told La Repubblica he had "no words" upon watching the video of his kidnapped daughter.

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