Reuters correspondent and photographer missing in Syria

Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:35pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Two Reuters journalists are missing in Syria.

Diplomatic sources said on Wednesday that correspondent Suleiman al-Khalidi, a Jordanian national based in Amman, had been detained by the Syrian authorities in Damascus on Tuesday.

Photographer Khaled al-Hariri, a Syrian based in Damascus, has not been in contact with colleagues since Monday.

A Syrian official said authorities were working to establish what had happened to the two men.

"Thomson Reuters is deeply concerned about the whereabouts of our colleagues Khaled al-Hariri and Suleiman al-Khalidi," Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said.

"We call upon the Syrian authorities to help us urgently in ensuring their safe and timely release. Reuters remains committed to reporting from the Middle East and we are working round the clock to protect our staff in these challenging times."

Khalidi, who has worked for Reuters for more than 20 years in Jordan, Kuwait, Syria and Iraq, was last seen in the old city of Damascus on Tuesday. He has not answered his mobile telephone since shortly after 2 p.m. (1200 GMT) on Tuesday.

Hariri, who has also worked for Reuters for more than 20 years, was last seen arriving at the Reuters bureau in Damascus on Monday morning. He has not been in touch since then and has not answered his mobile telephone.

Their disappearance follows the detention in Syria of two Reuters television journalists, producer Ayat Basma and cameraman Ezzat Baltaji. They were held incommunicado for two days before being released by Syrian authorities on Monday.   Continued...

<p>Reuters senior correspondent Suleiman al-Khalidi is seen in Amman March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji</p>