American held in Syria freed after nearly 2 years

WASHINGTON - The nation found something of a reprieve from the killing of an American journalist with the release of another freelance reporter who had been held hostage for nearly two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria.


Peter Theo Curtis, who wrote under the byline Theo Padnos, was freed Sunday, offering consolation to US officials, a journalism community
and family members deeply unnerved by the grisly video of James Foley's beheading in a desolate desert landscape.


Curtis' release appeared to have been aided by the oil-rich nation of Qatar, which said Sunday that it had "exerted relentless efforts" to win the American's freedom. Qatar is a leading supporter of the Syrian rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad and has been involved in mediating past hostage releases.