More than a dozen heavily armed gunmen kidnapped and held NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and several colleagues for five days inside Syria, keeping them blindfolded and tied up before they finally escaped unharmed during a firefight between their captors and anti-regime rebels, Engel said Tuesday.
Speaking to NBC’s Today show one day after the escape, an unshaven Engel said he believes the kidnappers were a Shiite militia group loyal to the Syrian government, which is fighting to crush a bloody uprising by rebels. He said they executed at least one of his rebel escorts on the spot at the time he was captured.
“They kept us blindfolded, bound,” said 39-year-old Engel, who speaks and reads fluent Arabic. “We weren’t physically beaten or tortured. A lot of psychological torture, threats of being killed. They made us choose which one of us would be shot first and when we refused, there were mock shootings,” he added. READ FULL STORY »