Middle East

British journalists shot and beaten in Syria kidnapping

A damaged car is seen at a site hit by what activists said was an air strike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the town of Azaz, north of Aleppo, near the border with Turkey May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Jalal Al-Mamo

LONDON: Two British journalists were recovering in Turkey on Thursday after being shot and beaten by rebel kidnappers while covering the Syrian conflict, the Times reported.

Times writer Anthony Loyd was shot twice in the leg while being held captive and photographer Jack Hill suffered a severe beating after trying to escape.

They were eventually freed under the orders of a local rebel commander, and managed to cross the border into Turkey on Wednesday after receiving treatment in a Syrian hospital, according to the paper.

The pair had spent several days reporting from the restive city of Aleppo and were returning to the Turkish border early Wednesday when they were taken.

They were around ten miles from the border when the car they were travelling in was forced to the side of the road by two cars, the Times said.

Loyd was bound to the back seat of a car, while Hill and a local guide were put in the boot before being driven to a warehouse in the town of Tall Rifat.

Hill and the guide identified the kidnappers as the men entrusted with their safe passage to the border, and burst out of the boot before overpowering a guard, reported the British publication.

Hill was recaptured and severely beaten while Loyd was shot in the legs to prevent him from escaping.

A commander from rebel group the Islamic Front, which is fighting against al-Qaeda-linked extremists, turned up to the warehouse and demanded the hostages be released.

Loyd, Hill and the guide crossed the border into Turkey late Wednesday after receiving treatment for their wounds, said the Times.





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