Saturday 28 May 2016

Four French hostages released in Syria

Published 20/04/2014 | 02:30

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, southeastern Turkey. The four French journalists, held hostage in Syria since June, were found by Turkish soldiers on its border with Syria. They were found in Sanliurfa province, blindfolded with their hands bound.
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, southeastern Turkey. The four French journalists, held hostage in Syria since June, were found by Turkish soldiers on its border with Syria. They were found in Sanliurfa province, blindfolded with their hands bound.

Four French journalists held hostage in Syria since June have been released, France's presidential palace said yesterday.

President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement he felt "immense relief" after learning of the release of Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres – all said to be in good health despite "very trying conditions" of their captivity.

Meanwhile, two rebel car bombs targeted two central Syrian areas controlled by government forces yesterday, killing at least 10 people as opposition forces fought fiercely to hold onto territory, officials and activists reported.

Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said one car bomb killed at least four people in the city of Homs, in an area dominated by Alawites – the same sect as President Bashar al-Assad.

Earlier in the day, another suicide bomber in a car blew himself up at a checkpoint near the government-controlled town of Salamiya, killing at least six soldiers, activists said. The bombing also left an unknown number of civilian casualties, the Observatory said.

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