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Kidnapped Ukrainian Reporter Escapes Captors in Syria, Nephew Says

KIEV — A Ukrainian journalist kidnapped by Syrian rebels last October has escaped from her captors and is now on her way to the Syrian capital Damascus, her nephew said Monday.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Anhar Kochneva was free, though it had no word on the circumstances. "We expect her to be at the Ukrainian embassy in Damascus tomorrow," a ministry spokesman said.

"She escaped this morning," said Kochneva's nephew, Dmitry Astafurov, according to Interfax. "She said [by phone that] people were taking her to Damascus."

Kochneva, who had been reporting for Russian media outlets from Syria, was taken hostage near Homs by members of the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel force in the two-year revolt against President Bashar Assad.


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