By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG (AA) - A South African photojournalist kidnapped in northern Syria three years ago has safely returned home, his family said Friday.
“Owing to his recent circumstances, he and his family have requested that they be given some space,” the family said in a short statement. It added “they will in due course issue a statement and engage with the media.’’
Shiraaz Mohamed was kidnapped in early 2017 while documenting Syrian refugees in Darkush. His captors were demanding $1.5 million in ransom.
Relief agency Gift of the Givers, which took Mohamed to Syria and was leading negotiations for his release, said Dec. 15 he escaped and was under the care of Turkish intelligence officials.
South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation has not yet confirmed Mohamed return to South Africa.
But South Africans on social media are welcoming Mohamed’s return and said they cannot wait to hear the story of how he escaped.