New video of French hostages in Afghanistan released: TV

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A new video of two French television journalists kidnapped a year ago by suspected Islamist insurgents east of Kabul has been released to authorities in France, a report said on Monday.

"The video has been authenticated. It was shot around mid-November," journalist Carole Gaessler said on France 3 television.

Stephane Taponier and Herve Ghesquiere, a reporter and a cameraman for the state-owned channel, were kidnapped on December 30 last year in an area rife with anti-government insurgents.

French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie on Sunday expressed hope that the two reporters would be released as soon as possible.

"We known that they are alive, relatively healthy, although it is clear that after a year things are starting to weigh," she said.

A senior French military official in September suggested that the two reporters could be rescued by Christmas, but President Nicolas Sarkozy would not confirm this.

© 2010 AFP

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