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Released U.S. hostage says overwhelmed by welcome home

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An American writer released this week after nearly two years of captivity in Syria said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of attention he received after returning home, he told reporters on Wednesday.

Peter Theo Curtis, 45, returned to the United States late Tuesday after being released on Sunday. He was captured in 2012 and held by Nusra Front, al Qaeda's official wing in Syria and rivals to the militant group Islamic State.

"I am overwhelmed with emotion," he said, speaking for the first time publicly at a briefing outside his family's home in Massachusetts, adding that he needs to spend time with his family.

"I suddenly remember how good the American people are, and what kindness they have in their hearts -- and to all those people I say a huge thank you from ... the bottom of my heart," he added.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Eric Beech)

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