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Journalist of Indian-origin kidnapped in Syria in 2017 returns home


Shiraaz Mohamed


Johannesburg: A South African freelance photojournalist of Indian-origin, who was kidnapped by suspected members of the Islamic State terror group in Syria in 2017, returned home on Friday, his family said.

Shiraaz Mohamed was taken hostage on January 10, 2017 in Darkoush, Syria. He had gone to the war-torn country to capture the suffering of the Syrian people.

"Owing to his recent circumstances, he and our family are requesting that we be given some space," the family said in a statement.

"In due course and soon, we will issue a statement and engage with the media," they were quoted as saying in South Africa's second-biggest news website TimesLive.

Mohamed reportedly escaped from his captors three weeks ago, the report said.

He was working for the charity Gift of the Givers, documenting the effects of the civil war, when he was kidnapped near the Turkish border by the suspected ISIS members.

No group, however, took responsibility for his abduction.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 134 journalists have been killed in the civil war in Syria.

Estimates of deaths in the Syrian civil war, as per opposition activist groups, vary between 371,222 and more than 570,000. On 23 April 2016, the United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria put out an estimate of 400,000 that had died in the war.

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