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(Reuters) - Al Qaeda-linked militants in Syria on Sunday freed an American writer missing since 2012 following what officials said were efforts by the Gulf Arab state of Qatar to win his release.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that Peter Theo Curtis had been held by Nusra Front, al Qaeda's official wing in Syria whose rivalry with militant group Islamic State has fueled war among the insurgents themselves.
President Barack Obama, who was briefed on Curtis' release, "shares in the joy and relief that we all feel now that Theo is out of Syria and safe," the White House said.
"But we continue to hold in our thoughts and prayers the Americans who remain in captivity in Syria - and we will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to see that the remaining American hostages are freed," the statement added.