Italian reporter in Syria missing for 20 days, paper reports

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Italian journalist Domenico Quirico, a correspondent for Turin’s la Stampa newspaper, has not been heard from for 20 days after entering Syria from Lebanon earlier this month, the daily's editor-in-chief Mario Calabresi said on Monday.

The 62-year-old Quirico, an experienced war reporter, entered Syria on April 6 to report on the country’s civil war, and has not been in contact since April 9.

After six days of silence, la Stampa together with the journalist’s family contacted the Italian Foreign Ministry crisis unit, Calabresi said in an article published on the newspaper’s website.

After a fruitless search for the reporter, it was decided to publicize his disappearance in the hope that it turns up some leads, Calabresi said.

Quirico has reported on conflicts in Sudan, Uganda and Libya and on the Arab spring uprisings, Calabresi said, and it was not uncommon for him to disappear for several days at a time, though never as many as 20.

The last time Quirico was in Mali, he was not heard from for six days, Calabresi said.

Four Italian journalists were kidnapped in Syria earlier this month, and were released after a little more than a week in captivity. The civil war has made Syria one of the most dangerous countries in the world, including for reporters.

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