The Syrian government says its forces have freed two Italian workers allegedly kidnapped by an armed group earlier this month.
It claims they were seized by “terrorists”.
The men, electrical engineers working for an energy company, were taken on their way to the airport as they tried to leave the country.
Interviewed on Syrian state TV, they said they had no idea who abducted them.
“Eight days ago when we were on the road, between the Sheraton Hotel and Damascus airport, we were kidnapped by a group of young people. They were fully covered and their faces were covered with a black mask,” said Domenico Tedeschi.
His colleague Oriano Cantani said: “There was at
least 10 or 15 people, with Kalashnikovs, with guns, grenades, bazookas. A lot, a lot.”
One Italian media report said the men had been in a convoy of 20 staff but got separated from the group and ended up in the hands of rebels.
The men said they were taken to several different locations while they were held captive.
The Italian government has welcomed their release.