Call this the end of the worst-kept secret in the commentariat. NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel had been abducted last week, which got out into Twitter after a few days, prompting the network to attempt to squelch any mention of the disappearance of Engel and his crew while they attempted to find out who had Engel. Fortunately, his captors lost a firefight with Syrian rebels, who freed the news crew and sent them back to Turkey:
NBC News’ Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and members of his network production team were freed from captors in Syria after a firefight at a checkpoint on Monday, five days after they were taken prisoner, NBC News said early Tuesday.
“After being kidnapped and held for five days inside Syria by an unknown group, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and his production crew members have been freed unharmed. We are pleased to report they are safely out of the country,” the network said in a statement. The captors were unidentified.
Engel, 39, along with other employees the network did not identify, disappeared shortly after crossing into northwest Syria from Turkey on Thursday. The network had not been able to contact them until learning that they had been freed on Monday.