Reuters journalist freed in Syria, photographer missing

1st April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Reuters correspondent was released by Syrian authorities on Friday after being held for three days but a photographer is still missing, the news agency said.

Suleiman al-Khalidi was released and returned to Jordan, where he is based.

But Reuters was still awaiting information on the whereabouts of its photographer Khaled al-Hariri, a Syrian based in Damascus, since he disappeared in Damascus on Monday. He was last seen arriving at work.

Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said Reuters was "relieved that Suleiman is now free and has returned home.

"However, we remain deeply concerned about the whereabouts of Khaled and call upon the Syrian authorities again to help ensure his safe and timely return."

Khalidi, a Jordanian, has worked for Reuters for more than 20 years, in Jordan, Kuwait, Syria and Iraq. He had disappeared in Damascus on Tuesday.

Photographer Hariri has worked in Syria for more than 20 years.

The Syrian authorities on Monday released two Reuters journalists after detaining them for two days, the day after one of the agency's reporters was expelled from the country.

The regime of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is facing domestic pressure unprecedented in his 11-year rule.

Syrian security forces killed at least four people and wounded dozens when they fired on protesters in the town of Douma, north of Damascus, on Friday, a witness told AFP by telephone.

© 2011 AFP

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