French journalists kidnapped in Syria freed on Turkey border

Journalists found blindfolded and bound on Turkish-Syrian border; said to be in good health after being held captive since June.

By REUTERS
April 19, 2014 19:45
1 minute read.
kidnapped journalists

French journalists Edouard Elias (front L), Didier Francois (R), Nicolas Henin (2nd R, background) and Pierre Torres (3rd R, background) arrive at a hospital in Sanliurfa, Turkey, late April 18, 2014. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Four French journalists held hostage in Syria since June were found by Turkish soldiers on its border with Syria on Saturday, Turkish media reported, and French President Francois Hollande said the four were in good health.

Nicolas Henin, Pierre Torres, Edouard Elias and Didier Francois were found in Sanliurfa province blindfolded with their hands bound, Dogan News Agency said.

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Hollande said the four were in "good health, in spite of the very grueling conditions of their captivity." They will be taken to France in the coming hours, he said in a statement.

Dogan said the journalists had been kidnapped by the rebel group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) but that an unknown group brought the journalists to the Turkish border on Friday night. They would be handed over to French officials after medical checks, it said.

Francois, a veteran war correspondent working for Europe 1 radio, and Elias, a photographer, were abducted in early June on their way to Aleppo. Henin, who was working for Le Point magazine and Torres, reporting for French-German television channel Arte, were taken later that month.

Syria is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Two French journalists remain missing in the Sahel region of North Africa.


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