Veteran El Mundo staff correspondent Javier Espinosa and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova were captured on Sept. 16 by a group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The two were captured near the Syrian-Turkey border. They were greeted at a Madrid military airport by family and friends, Brian Walker and Elwyn Lopez reported for CNN:
“We want to thank everyone who has worried about us and who has made it possible for us to return home, and as you can see, we are perfectly well,” Espinosa told those gathered at the airport.
Reporters Without Borders ranks Syria as the most dangerous country for journalists. An estimated 130 news and information providers have been killed since March 2011 when the violence in the country began, according to the organization’s numbers.
In January, two Swedish journalists who went missing in Syria were freed. That month, a Turkish photographer was also freed.