South African photographer kidnapped in Syria back home - source

ANKARA, Jan 2 (Reuters) - 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 seized in January 2017 during an assignment for the South African charity Gift of the Givers, according to Johannesburg-based media.

The charity tweeted on Dec. 15 that he had been freed and was awaiting coordination between South Africa’s government and Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency to fly him home.

That took place on Thursday, the Turkish intelligence source told Reuters, without giving more details.

There was no immediate confirmation by South Africa’s foreign ministry, Gift of the Givers, Mohamed’s family or the Turkish government. Turkey borders north Syria, where Mohamed was said to have been kidnapped. (Reporting by Orhan Coskun in Ankara and Alexander Winning in Johannesburg; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)