Kidnappers in Syria have freed an American journalist who has been missing since 2012.
Peter Theo Curtis, 45, had been held captive by militants from al-Nusra, which is al Qaeda’s official wing in Syria.
The White House confirmed that Curtis was on his way home and that every effort was being made to secure the release of other Americans held hostage in Syria of whom there are around 20.
Rivalry between the Nusra Front and Islamic State is believed to have fuelled war among the insurgents themselves.
The United Nations has confirmed it had facilitated Curtis’ release.
The news emerged as a memorial mass was held in the US state of New Hampshire in honour of James Foley, the journalist killed last week by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.
The church in Foley’s hometown of Rochester was filled with family and friends. The bishop read out a condolence letter from the Vatican.
Foley’s brutal death by beheading has been condemned by Islamic nations across the globe.
A funeral is to be held on October 18 , the day on which Foley would have been 41.