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Italian Women Seized in Syria Prompt Concern After Foley Video

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State fighters has prompted a fresh wave of concern for two Italian women who were kidnapped weeks ago in Syria.

The names of the people or organizations holding Greta Ramelli and Vanessa Marzullo haven’t been released by the Italian Foreign Ministry, which said through a spokeswoman today that diplomats and the secret service are working on the case. The U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reported today that two Italian women, a Dane and a Japanese national were seized by militants from the Islamic State group near Aleppo in recent days. The newspaper didn’t give names.

Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim group, is pursuing a campaign of terror as air strikes by the U.S. threaten its control over conquered territories in Iraq. The group, whose influence also extends into neighboring Syria, said the killing of Foley was retaliation for the U.S. military action. A video of Foley’s execution was released by Islamic State on Aug. 19.

Ramelli and Marzullo are two of six Italians held by terrorists worldwide, according to daily la Repubblica.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in Rome at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at Jerrold Colten, Alessandra Migliaccio

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