NBC foreign correspondent RICHARD ENGEL freed after firefight in war-torn Syria.
Engel and three of his colleagues were released from captivity in Syria on Monday, five days after being taken hostage, NBC announced Tuesday morning after The ENQUIRER had other news orgs demanded a public inquiry into the missing TV journo.
In a short statement, NBC said that Engel, 39, who went missing along with his crew last Thursday, was "freed from captors in Syria after a firefight at a checkpoint on Monday, five days after they were taken prisoner.
"We are pleased to report they are safely out of the country," NBC added.
The network did not identify the others who had been abducted with Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, who routinely hop-scotches from some of the most dangerous places in the world, including Iraq Afghanistan, and Egypt.
Engel and his colleagues 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.
After entering Syria, Engel and his team were abducted, tossed into the back of a truck and blindfolded before being transported to an unknown location believed to be near the small town of Ma’arrat Misrin. During their captivity, they were blindfolded and bound, but otherwise not physically harmed, the network said.
Early Monday evening local time, the prisoners were being moved to a new location in a vehicle when their captors ran into a checkpoint manned by members of the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, a Syrian rebel group. There was a confrontation and a firefight followed. Two of the captors were killed, while an unknown number of others escaped, the network said.
The NBC News crew was not harmed in the firefight. They remained in Syria until Tuesday morning when they made their way to the border and re-entered Turkey, the network said. They were to be evaluated and debriefed, but had communicated that everyone was in good health.