Parents tell of relief after French hostage freed

The parents of a Frenchman released after four months in captivity in Afghanistan said their son was in good health after using his wits to stay alive throughout his gruelling ordeal.

Claire and Vincent Borghi said in an email to AFP that they had spoken by telephone to their son, Pierre, 29, who was freed on Sunday, one of two French hostages released in recent days.

"His health appears to be good despite the very difficult conditions of his captivity and his tiring escape. We are very proud of Pierre, who knew what to do at the right time to stay alive," they said.

"We are obviously relieved and happy to know Pierre is free. We have talked to Pierre briefly Monday evening, while he was in a military hospital," they added, thanking "all those who participated in the search and supported us".

Borghi worked in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012 for French charity Solidarites International and returned to Kabul last year to take photographs and try to establish himself as a photographer.

Shoib Sharifi, director of the Afghan Public Protection Force, said guards from his company found Borghi near one of their check points in the province of Wardak on Sunday evening.

French officials have not confirmed how he was freed.

The second released man, who has not been named, was taken captive in Kabul on January 27.

He was working for ACTED (the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development), a Paris-based non-governmental organisation, when he was dragged from a vehicle in Kabul.

French officials in Paris announced on Monday he had been freed.

Officials in Kabul who declined to be identified said that the two men had been held separately and gave no explanation of why they had been released on the same day.

No claim was made for either kidnapping.