After being held captive for five days in Syria, NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his production crew have been freed, NBC announced Tuesday.
Engel and his crew have made it out of Syria unharmed and into Turkey, where the news correspondent filmed a live segment for Today.
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During the interview, Engel explained that they were traveling with a group of Syrian rebels when a group of approximately 15 heavily armed gunmen "jumped out of the trees and bushes" and captured them on Thursday.They were then taken to a series of safe houses and interrogation places where they were blindfolded, bound and subjected to "a lot of psychological torture." This included the captors' attempt to make the captives choose who to shoot first. But when Engels and his crew refused, the kidnappers executed a series of mock shootings.On Monday, the kidnappers unexpectedly came across a rebel checkpoint. A small firefight ensued, at which point Engel and his crew took the opportunity to climb out of the vehicle they were being transported in and were taken in by the rebels.
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Engel said he believes he has a "very good idea" about who the captors are. According to him, they were members of the "shabiha" militia, loyalists to Syrian President Bashar Assad. Engels believes they planned to use him and his crew to free captives held by the rebels.Watch Engel recount the ordeal below.