'Proof' French hostages alive in Afghanistan: minister

6th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said Thursday he had received "tangible proof" from his Afghan counterpart that two French journalists kidnapped in Afghanistan were alive and well.

The visiting cabinet minister spoke following talks with Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar in Kabul.

"My colleague, the Afghan interior minister, told me a few minutes ago that as of an hour and a half ago, there was tangible proof demonstrating that the hostages were alive and in good health," said Hortefeux.

"I cannot say more," he added.

Herve Ghesquiere and Stephane Taponier, who work for the France 3 television network, were kidnapped in December 2009 along with their Afghan translator, an editorial fixer and a driver on a road in eastern Afghanistan.

Their channel released their names in April, after the Taliban militia released a video of the journalists that contained a new death threat.

Criminal groups and Taliban insurgents have kidnapped several dozen foreigners, many of them journalists, since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in Kabul, sparking the current insurgency.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article