Page last updated at 22:30 GMT, Friday, 1 January 2010

French reporters kidnapped in Afghanistan 'alive'

French military helicopter in Kapisa province
French troops are stationed in Kapisa province as part of the Nato-led force

Two French journalists kidnapped in Afghanistan are alive and in good health, French media have reported.

The reporters were kidnapped along with three Afghan assistants in Kapisa province north-east of Kabul earlier this week, officials said.

A spokesman for the journalists' employer, French TV Channel FR3, said they were in good condition.

French news agency AFP also quoted a source involved in efforts to free them as saying they were well.

"The two French journalists appear to be alive, in good health and being well treated," said the source.

There was no word, however, on the condition of the three Afghans.

Suspected Taliban militants ambushed the reporters as they were being driven through the war-torn region between Surobi and Tagab on Wednesday, a French colleague told AFP.

Italian news agency Ansa quoted a spokesman for the local Afghan governor as saying the group had been taken to a remote Taliban stronghold.

The spokesman, named as Alim Ayar, told Ansa that efforts were under way to secure the release of the hostages with the help of tribal elders.

The Taliban and other insurgent groups operate in Kapisa province. French troops are also stationed there as part of the Nato-led force.

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