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Spain warns discretion needed as journalists go missing in Syria

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By Sarah Taylor  with Reuters
Spain warns discretion needed as journalists go missing in Syria

The Spanish Foreign Ministry has appealed for discretion after local media reported three journalists missing in Syria may have been kidnapped.

Spanish nationals José Manuel Lopez, Antonio Pampliega and Angel Sastre travelled to Aleppo from Turkey on July 10, 2015, to work on an investigative report. Contact was lost two days later.

However Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo appeared optimistic the case would be resolved.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first case I have had in the last four years. Some have been picked up by the press and others haven’t. But every case has been resolved so far. In my experience, what isn’t picked up by the press is resolved quicker,” adding:
“What we want is to bring them back home safely sooner rather than later and, for that, discretion is paramount.”

A further three Spanish journalists were taken in the Aleppo region in 2014 and released in March 2015, after 194 days in captivity.

Syria is described by the Committee to Protect Journalists as the “most deadly country in the world for journalists for the past three years,” citing 90 abductions and the deaths of at least 12 international correspondents since the conflict began in 2011.