Freed French journalists depart Kabul for Paris: official

30th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

French journalists Stephane Taponier and Herve Ghesquiere left Kabul for Paris Wednesday, hours after they were freed following 18 months' imprisonment by the Taliban, an embassy official said.

The pair were expected on French soil between 8:00-9:00 am (0600-0700 GMT) Thursday, said the official of the French embassy in Kabul.

"They left Kabul shortly after 1:00 am (0830 GMT) for Paris, where they are expected Thursday morning at the Villacoublay airport," the source told AFP by telephone.

The same official earlier said the journalists were "surprisingly well, both physically and mentally".

Cameraman Taponier and reporter Ghesquiere of state network France 3 were seized in November 2009 in the mountains of Kapisa, an unstable region east of the Afghan capital Kabul.

They were transported Wednesday from Kapisa to the French embassy in Kabul, where they met the ambassador, the official said.

The pair did not give any media interviews before their departure for France.

© 2011 AFP

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