Search for SA photojournalist in Syria continues

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Johannesburg, 14 January 2017 - Photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed has been kidnapped in Syria. Aid Organisation Gift of the Givers broke the news.

JOHANNESBURG – The search for South African photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed, abducted last month in war-torn Syria, is continuing, aid group Gift of the Givers said on Friday.

Founder Imtiaz Sooliman said: “We have received word that there will be rounding up of suspects, arrests, investigations and raids into different areas in an attempt to find Shiraaz. This process has already commenced. Various prisons will be visited in the days ahead to ascertain if Shiraaz has been wrongfully detained.”

READ: SA journalist kidnapped in Syria

Sooliman said Mohamed had approached the organisation -- which runs a hospital in Syria  -- last month for help to  enter Syria.

“As a renowned freelance photojournalist he wanted to document the suffering of the Syrian people by making available his pictures to the various agencies that he files for internationally. Shiraaz, as a courtesy to Gift of the Givers, would make available high-quality pictures relevant to our various projects inside Syria,” he said.

Mohamed was abducted en route to the Turkish border on 10 January, near the hospital operated by Gift of the Givers.

The abduct6ers put guns to the heads of two aid workers who were with Mohamed and then blindfolded all three and drove with the captives for an hour.

The gunmen freed the two aid workers but said they would question Mohamed to clear up an unspecified “misunderstanding" and would release him at a Gift of the Givers facility after two days.

There has been no communication from them since