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French TV crew kidnapped northeast of Kabul

A TV crew working for the French TV station France 3 that was abducted in the northeastern province of Kapisa on December 29. The victims include two French journalists and at least two Afghans, according to Reporters sans Frontières (RSF).

“The security situation in Afghanistan, including the Kapisa region, is such that we cannot rule out any hypothesis,” Paris-based RSF said. “We will have to wait before adopting a position on the fate of the France 3 crew but the Afghan and French authorities need to take immediate action.” It said, “A degree of restraint must be shown in this case to avoid jeopardising the negotiating attempts that are under way.”

The two French journalists – a reporter and a cameraman – and their Afghan crew were working for the France 3 current affairs programme “Pièce à conviction.” There has been no word from them since they were intercepted by gunmen on a road near Omarkhil in Kapisa province on December 29. They were reportedly using the Afghan journalist Mohamed Reza as a fixer and an Afghan driver.

“Along with their Afghan and French colleagues, we share the concern for these men’s safety, and hope that they will soon be found,” said Bob Dietz, Asia programme coordinator of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). “The brutal reality is that very often it is the Afghan victims who bear the brunt of rescue attempts—we hope that all sides show restraint as this situation is resolved.”

Abductions of foreign journalists have become increasingly frequent during the past three years. An Iraqi reporter employed by the London-based Guardian newspaper was abducted and then freed earlier this month. A total of nine journalists have been abducted by criminal groups or insurgents in Afghanistan this year.

This is the first time that French journalists have abducted in this fashion in the region since newspaper reporter Florence Aubenas’ abduction in Iraq in January 2005.

Date posted: December 31, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 120