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France says two more journalists kidnapped in Syria

PARIS, Oct 9 (KUNA) -- The French Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that two more journalists from France had gone missing in northern Syria and must be presumed kidnapped. The latest abductions bring the number of French journalists missing in Syria to four.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Nicolas Henin, a reporter with "Le Point" weekly and "Arte" television channel, and photojournalist Pierre Torres had gone missing on June 22 but authorities had not released that information right away. Families of the journalists decided after more than three months to reveal the kidnapping.
Two other journalists went missing in Syria on June 6, Didier Francois, a seasoned radio reporter with "Europe" and Edouard Elias, a photographer.
Both were still reported alive in August but French authorities are routinely silent about any contacts they have with the hostages or their kidnappers.
France also refuses now to pay ransoms, according to the official line, but in the past several French nationals were freed after a ransom was allegedly paid.
France has around a dozen nationals being held hostage around the globe, with most held in Mali or nearby countries by Islamist radical groups linked with Al-Qaeda.
The French army intervened in Mali last January and forced out three radical groups but did not locate the hostages. (end) jk.mt KUNA 091819 Oct 13NNNN