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France - Afghanistan

Freed French hostage returns home

Reuters/Mohammad Ishaq

French photographer Pierre Borghi returned to France on Sunday, after being released from four months of captivity in Afghanistan last week. He is the second French hostage to be released in recent days.

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Borghi was greeted at Paris‘s Charles de Gaulle airport by his family, as well as a foreign ministry official. He appeared to be in good health.

The photographer was freed on 7 April, after having been kidnapped in late November. Borghi was released in Wardak province, just outside the capital, but French officials have not confirmed how he was freed.

Borghi had been working in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012 for the French charity group Solidarités International and had moved to Kabul last year, with hopes of establishing himself as a photographer.

The second man, known only as Charles, was released shortly after Borghi but officials say their releases were not related.

Charles was the financial director of Acted, a non-profit organisation based in Paris, when he was kidnapped in Kabul on 27 January.

No claim has been made for either kidnapping.

The number of kidnappings in Afghanistan is currently lower than in 2010, but numbers have begun to rise since mid-2012.

The last French hostages held in Afghanistan were TV journalists Stéphane Taponier and Hervé Guesquière, who were released in June 11 after having been held hostage for18 months.
 

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