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South African photojournalist kidnapped in Syria

January 15, 2017 at 10:12 am

Anadolu Agency (AA) cameraman Ihsan Muhammed runs away as an armed attack is staged on a vehicle containing an AA team on October 21, 2016 [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]

A South African photojournalist has been kidnapped in Syria near the Turkish border, a relief organisation said Saturday.

The Gift of the Givers foundation said Shiraaz Mohamed was kidnapped Tuesday together with their two drivers when their vehicle was stopped.

Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman of Gift of the Givers told local television eNCA that the drivers were later released.

He said he was told the gunmen said they would release Mohammed after questioning him, but four days later he is still being held.

South African citizens have resorted to social media networking sites to appeal for his safe release.

South Africa’s Foreign Ministry said they will deal with the matter.

Syria tops among the deadliest countries for press members to work in, with 14 journalists killed only in 2016 out of a total of 48 across the world, according to New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).