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MADRID (AP) - Spanish newspaper El Mundo says one of its reporters and a freelance photographer are being held hostage in Syria by a group linked to al-Qaida.

El Mundo said Tuesday that veteran reporter Javier Espinosa and photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova were taken captive on Sept. 16.

It said it had refrained from publicizing the news because their families were trying to make discreet contact with the captors.

The newspaper said the two were taken along with four members of the Free Syrian Army rebel group at the Tal Abyad checkpoint in the northern province of Raqqa.

It identified the kidnappers as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group known by its initials, ISIS.

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