Peter Curtis, American held hostage in Syria, released

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WASHINGTON — The release of a freelance reporter who had been held hostage for nearly two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria comes just days after the U.S. was rocked by the beheading of another American journalist by Islamic militants.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Peter Theo Curtis had been held by an al-Qaida-linked militant group fighting Syria’s government.

Curtis was not believed to be among the hostages held by the Islamic State group that killed James Foley. Islamic State was formally disavowed by al-Qaida earlier this year after being deemed too brutal.

Curtis’ release was likely to renew questions about the intentions of different militant groups in Syria and Iraq and how the U.S. should deal with hostage takers.