A South African photojournalist kidnapped in Syria by Islamic State three years ago returned home on Thursday with the help of Turkey’s intelligence agency, a security source in Ankara said.
Shiraaz Mohamed was captured in January 2017 after travelling to document the suffering of Syrians under war, according to South African charity Gift of the Givers.
The charity tweeted on December 15 he had been freed and was awaiting co-ordination between South Africa’s government and Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency to fly home.
That took place on Thursday, a Turkish intelligence source told Reuters, without giving more details.
There was no immediate confirmation from South Africa’s foreign ministry, Mohamed’s family or the Turkish government.
Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman told Reuters the ministry confirmed on December 18 it was in contact with Turkish intelligence, which said Mohamed was with them. The charity received no further information since and was not involved with the case since, he added.
Turkey borders northern Syria, where Mohamed was said to have been kidnapped.