Italy's foreign minister says journalist missing in Syria is alive

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Italy's foreign minister says that officials continued to press for the release of a reporter for the Turin daily La Stampa missing in Syria since April.

Emma Bonino told private Radio 24 on Thursday that Domencio Quirico is alive "at least until a few days ago." She said official diplomatic channels and contacts with groups in Syria were being used to seek his release.

Quirico contacted his family via telephone in early June for the first time since his April 9 disappearance. The Foreign Ministry has cautioned that the situation remains delicate.

Quirico, 62, an experienced war reporter, entered Syria on April 6 from Lebanon, and was heading to the Homs area when he went missing. His captors have not been identified.