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American held in Syria freed

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government said an American held hostage for about two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria has been released.

The Obama administration identified the man as Peter Theo Curtis of Massachusetts.

National security adviser Susan Rice said Curtis is now safe outside of Syria.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Curtis was held by an al-Qaida-linked militant group fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Obama administration released no details about the circumstances of his abduction or his release.

The news comes days after the Islamic State group posted a web video showing the slaying of James Foley, a U.S. journalist who was kidnapped in 2012 while covering the Syrian uprising.

The group said the killing was in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq.

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