Italian women not held by ISIS -ministry

Fears that kidnapped volunteers held by Islamic State

(ANSA) - Rome, August 22 - Two Italian women kidnapped in Syria are not in the hands of Islamic militant group ISIS, Mario Giro, undersecretary of foreign affairs, said Friday.
    It had been feared that Vanessa Marzullo and Greta Ramelli had been taken by the same group responsible for the beheading on Wednesday of American journalist James Foley.
    Giro would say little about the women and urged "the utmost discretion" in discussing the case.
    The videotape of Foley's beheading had circulated widely one day before newspaper reports that ISIS was holding a number of foreign nationals including two Italian women.
    The article in The Guardian newspaper triggered fears for the two women, who were kidnapped in late July.
    However, an Arab newspaper reported Thursday that the two women were in "good health" and being held for ransom by a Syrian opposition group.
    Al Quds al Arabi newspaper which, citing a source in the Islamic rebel group Ahrar ash Sham, reported that a ransom was in the works for the two kidnapped women, and that they could be released soon.
    Marzullo, 21, and Ramelli, 20, were seized in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo shortly after they arrived in Syria on July 28 to work on health and water-related humanitarian aid projects.