NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel has been missing in Syria since Thursday, according to Turkish news reports.
The reports also say that Aziz Akyavas, a Turkish journalist who has been working with Engel, is also unaccounted for. Gawker reports that NBC News had been keeping Engel's status subject to a news blackout at least since Sunday.
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Hurriyet, a Turkish newspaper, reports that Engel and Akyavas were last known to be in Syria and haven't made contact with NBC News since Thursday morning. The news was picked up by several Turkish news outlets, including news channel NTV, which claims to be an international partner of MSNBC.
However, NBC News has reportedly requested that every reporter asking about Engel's status to participate in a news blackout, and also asked Gawker not to report on "rumors" about Engel.
Similar precautions were taken in 2008, when New York Times reporter David Rohde was kidnapped. A months-long news blackout was enforced because those holding Rohde had demanded his condition be kept private. Rohde later escaped.
Engel, 39, covered the beginning of the war in Iraq for ABC News before joining NBC News in May 2003. He is the winner of the Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism, Edward R. Murrow award, the Peabody award and the David Bloom award, named after the late NBC journalist, who died in 2003 while traveling with the U.S. Third Infantry Division in Iraq.
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