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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

James Foley captured in Syria

Medill alum and foreign correspondent James Foley has been captured in Syria; he was captured in Libya previously 
Agence France-Presse said in  a story today that Foley was working for that organization. “Foley, who last supplied AFP with video material the day before he disappeared, was picked up in the town of Taftanaz by 4 men who later released his driver and translator, the witnesses said,” AFP said.
Idlib Province, in which Foley is believed to have been captured. (Via Google Maps)
Idlib Province, in which Foley is believed to have been captured. (Via Google Maps)
Foley “was traveling with another journalist who has also been reported missing, but whose family has requested that he not be identified,” AFP reported. “No group has claimed responsibility for the abductions, in a country racked by bitter civil war since the start of an uprising by rebels opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime nearly two years ago.”
NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent and his team disappeared in Syria in early December but later were freed after a firefight at a checkpoint. “Little is known about the group that kidnapped Engel and his team. And it remains unclear if the same group is responsible for taking James,” GlobalPost said in its story today.
In early 2011, the then-37-year-old freelancer was reporting from Libya for Boston-based Global Post as rebel groups and the Libyan armed forces were engaged in an intense battle for control of key cities. Four journalists, including Foley, were shot at by Gaddafi’s troops in the frontline town of Brega. While three of them were taken captive, the fourth is believed to have been killed in the gunfire.
Foley was held for six week, then released along with the two others on May 18, 2011 after several groups around the world pressured Libyan authorities into releasing the detained journalists.
He spoke to the Northwestern community at his alma mater in Evanston, IL in early June., 2011.
“Reflecting on the lessons learned, Foley said. “Conflict zones can be covered safely. This can be done but you have to be very careful.”
“It’s not worth losing your life,” he said. “Not worth seeing your mother, father, brother or sister bawling.”

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