Two French journalists kidnapped shortly after arriving in Syria in June are alive and Paris is working for their release, the defence minister said on Sunday.
Didier Francois, 53, a seasoned reporter in troublespots with Europe 1 radio, and 22-year-old photographer Edouard Elias were taken hostage after being stopped at a checkpoint on the road to Aleppo.
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It was unclear who was holding them.
"Every effort is being made to ensure that the conditions for their release can be met very quickly," Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told journalists.
"We know they are alive and we are stepping up our efforts," he said. "In the interests of everyone, especially those two, I cannot say any more."
According to Reporters Without Borders, 24 journalists have been killed and 23 imprisoned since the outbreak of Syria's civil strife in March 2011.