Kidnapped French journalists found on Turkey's Syrian border

ISTANBUL Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:38am EDT

A poster calling for the release of French journalists Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres is installed on the facade of the Ile de france regional council headquarters in Paris January 6, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A poster calling for the release of French journalists Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres is installed on the facade of the Ile de france regional council headquarters in Paris January 6, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - 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.

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.

(Reporting by Seda Sezer; additional reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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