New video of French hostages in Afghanistan released: TV

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.

Paris: 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.

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

Foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero confirmed
the date and authenticity of the video, but did not provide
any further details.

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.
In the video, Taponier talks to his family, while
Ghesquiere talks to his partner, Gaessler said.

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.

AFP

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