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Afghan rebels free Italian newsman

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KABUL, Afghansitan (CNN) -- Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo has been released two weeks after he was reportedly taken captive by the Taliban, according to the Italian Foreign Ministry and the reporter's employer, La Repubblica newspaper.

He was taken to an Italian-run hospital and has been in touch with Italy's ambassador to Afghanistan, according to the ministry and the newspaper.

Mastrogiacomo, a reporter for the Rome-based newspaper, was kidnapped March 5 along with two Afghan colleagues in the southern province of Helmand.

The government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi said it had been working day and night to free Mastrogiacomo since his abduction. Over the weekend, Prodi's private jet was flown to Kabul's airport in hopes of transporting the journalist back to Italy.

Mastrogiacomo appeared Wednesday in a video in which he called for the Italian government to "do anything possible" to obtain his release, as well as that of his colleagues.

Daniele Mastrogiacomo was captured two weeks ago.


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