French hostages in Afghanistan alive and 'in good health'

5th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

France has in the past fortnight received proof that two journalists held hostage in Afghanistan are alive and in good health, President Nicolas Sarkozy's chief adviser said Sunday.

"I have two pieces of good news: Firstly, we've have had proof of life within the last dozen days and, secondly, we know that they're in good health," Claude Gueant told Europe 1 radio.

"Ramadan has delayed negotiations -- which seemed to be going well -- but they'll restart in a few days," he added, referring to the Islamic holy month of prayer and fasting that is observed in Afghanistan.

The two French hostages, Herve Ghesquiere et Stephane Taponier, a reporter and a camerman working for French state television were kidnapped with three Afghan colleagues in December last year.

They were travelling without a military escort in an area northwest of Kabul known as a stronghold of anti-government Islamic militants such as the Taliban, and which is patrolled by French NATO forces.

© 2010 AFP

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