Two French Journalists Freed in Afghanistan After 547 Days

By: France 24

Two French journalists who were kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan in December 2009 have been freed, the Elysee palace announced Wednesday. Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphan Taponier are set to arrive in France later in the day.

Eighteen months after they were abducted in north-eastern Afghanistan, French journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier have been released, French President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed Wednesday.

Ghesquière and Taponier, along with their Afghan translator, fixer and driver were kidnapped December 30, 2009 in the mountainous Kapisa province northeast of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

In a statement released Wednesday, Sarkozy’s office said, “The president is delighted at the liberation of our two compatriots, Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier,” before going on to add, “The head of state joins in the joy of their families. He thanks (Afghan) President (Hamid) Karzai for his handling of this crisis as well as all those who took part in freeing the hostages.”

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