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Spain ‘fully active’ seeking reporters missing in Syria

Spain’s foreign minister said Wednesday Madrid is “fully active” in the search for three Spanish journalists missing and feared kidnapped in Syria where they were reporting on its deadly civil war.

“Since hearing the news, we have been fully active” working to track down the three men, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said during a public appearance in Madrid in comments quoted by Spanish media.

Officials said Tuesday that the three had not been heard from since July 12, when they were reporting in Aleppo, a city in northwestern Syria that has been devastated by fighting.

Officials could not yet confirm whether the men had been kidnapped. Garcia-Margallo said no demands had yet been received from any apparent kidnappers.

The Spanish press federation FAPE identified the three men as Jose Manuel Lopez, a reporter in his 40s, and Antonio Pampliega and Angel Sastre, both in their 30s.

Garcia-Margallo said his ministry was in “permanent contact” with its embassy in Turkey which was leading efforts to track down the men.

He said he had been in contact with various embassies and United Nations representatives in Spain as well as Spanish intelligence sources in Syria.

“I would ask that we proceed with discretion and respect” for those missing, he said.