- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

BEIRUT (AP) - NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel says he believes the gunmen who kidnapped him and his crew in Syria were a Shiite militia group loyal to the Syrian government.

NBC said Tuesday that Engel and members of his production crew were freed unharmed a day earlier following a firefight at a checkpoint in Syria. The team was taken prisoner Thursday.

Engel told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday that the captors “were talking openly about their loyalty to the government.” He said his captors executed at least one of his rebel escorts on the spot at the time they were captured.

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