Beirut, 22 Safar 1434/04 January 2013 (SPA/MINA) – An American journalist has been missing in Syria since he was kidnapped more than one month ago, AP cited his family as saying Wednesday.NThe family of James Foley, of Rochester, N.H., said he was kidnapped in northwest Syria by unknown gunmen.
Foley, 39, has worked in a number of conflict zones around the Middle East, including Syria, Libya and Iraq. He was contributing videos to Agence France-Press while in Syria, according Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Friday.
Foley’s disappearance highlights the risks to reporters seeking to cover the civil war from inside Syria.
The Syrian government rarely gives visas to journalists and often limits the movements of those it allows in. This has prompted a number of reporters to sneak into the country with the opposition militants fighting to topple Bashar Assad’s regime. Some have been killed or wounded while others have disappeared.
Foley and another journalist were working in the northern province of Idlib when they were kidnapped near the village of Taftanaz on November 22. He had entered Syria a short time earlier.
Media outlets refrained from reporting on Foley’s kidnapping until his family released its statement. The other reporter’s family has requested that that reporter’s name not be made public.
Foley’s family said they have not heard from him since. The U.N. said Wednesday that more than 60,000 people have been killed since the start of Syria’s conflict in March 2011. This number represents a large jump from death tolls previously given by anti-regime activists. (T/R-017/R-006)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)