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Television reporter Herve Ghesquiere, 47, and cameraman Stephane Taponier, 46, came home to France on Thursday to an emotional welcome and nationwide relief.

The two journalists from France-3 television were taken hostage along with three Afghan associates in December 2009. They had been working on a story about reconstruction on a road east of Kabul, and had initially been embedded with French troops in Afghanistan before deciding to report on their own.

Their plight was one of France's longest-ever hostage ordeals, and had become a national cause.  They were finally freed along with their Afghan translator, Reza Din. The two others were freed earlier. French officials insisted that no ransom was paid for the men's freedom although the circumstances of the release remained unclear.

via Guardian