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French journalists held hostage contacted by telephone

Two French journalists who have been held hostage by Taliban militants in Afghanistan for over nine months have been contacted by telephone and are in "good spirits" according to French authorities, who say they could be released before Christmas.

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French journalists Stéphane Taponier (left on the photo above) and Hervé Ghesquière, who have been held hostage by Taliban militants since December 2009, are in “good spirits”, according to a senior French military official who spoke to them by telephone.
 
Edouard Guillaud said on Friday that there is “reasonable hope” the pair will be released before Christmas.
 
Guillaud admitted that nobody has actually seen either Taponier or Ghesquière, journalists at France 3 television, but that French authorities had proof of their existence through means of communication. He said that they were “brave” in their handling of the situation and had managed to retain good spirits throughout the ordeal.
 
The same channel of communication used to speak to the pair is being used to negotiate with their kidnappers, Guillaud said, though gave no details about their ransom requests.
 
The reporter and cameraman were captured on 30 December 2009 along with three Afghan colleagues.

 

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