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Former al-Qaeda group assists in search for missing SA journalist

Gift of the Givers says members of Al-Nusra heard reports about the abduction and are assisting in the investigation.

South African Photojournalist  Shiraaz Mohamed. Picture: Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - Gift of the Givers has confirmed that a former al-Qaeda group has initiated contact with one of its doctors saying it's willing to help find kidnapped South African journalist Shiraaz Mohamed.

Gift of the Givers says members of Al-Nusra heard reports about the abduction and then requested the doctor at a hospital give them information to assist in the investigation.

Mohamed was kidnapped while in Syria last week and hasn't been seen since.

Gift of the Givers says many shopkeepers on the Turkish border closed their shops for a while at the weekend in protest against Mohamed’s kidnapping.

The NGO's Imtiaz Sooliman says the medical team inside the Gift of the Givers hospital in Syria also held a gathering calling for the return of the journalist.

“And also to show their support for Shiraaz, there was a similar demonstration, but this time it was a medical team inside the Gift of the Givers hospital.”

Sooliman says while the search continues for Mohamed the people who have taken him have left behind some information as to why he was taken.

“They said they were very calm and they were not aggressive, in fact they said they treated them gently.”

Sooliman says they are engaging the Turkish government and the governor near the Syrian border where Mohamed was kidnapped.

(Edited by Neo Koza)