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Missing Belgian teacher is alive in Syria
The Belgian teacher Pierre Piccinin da Prata, who went missing in Syria in April, is alive, reports Le Soir. He had a brief conversation with his parents – who live in Gembloux, Walloon Brabant - on Thursday afternoon, the foreign affairs ministry confirmed. The Italian journalist who was with him, Domenico Quirico, of La Stampa, also contacted his family in Italy to reassure them. The news was meant to remain confidential until the two men were repatriated, but the Italian foreign affairs minister, Emma Bonino, announcing last night that the Quirico’s family had had "contact" with him. Expectations of finding them alive and well had greatly diminished since the last sign of life was given by Pierre Piccinin via Skype on April 17. The whereabouts of the two men remain unknown at the time of this writing.