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Two French journalists kidnapped in Syria alive

French journalists Didier Francois and Edouard Elias are said to be alive after being kidnapped in Syria last month.

French journalists Syria aliveEnlarge
Portraits of the two French radio journalists Didier Francois (L) and Edouard Elias kidnapped in Syria on June 6, 2013 are hung on the windows of Europe 1 radio station studio in Paris on July 9, 2013 as people take part in a rally in their support. (ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

French journalists Didier Francois and Edouard Elias are said to be alive after being kidnapped in Syria last month.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Paris is now working for their release.

Francois, 53, a seasoned war reporter with Europe 1 radio, and 22-year-old photographer Elias, were taken after being stopped at a checkpoint on the road to Aleppo.

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," Le Drian told journalists.

More from GlobalPost: Syria: Journalists' deaths send chills through media on the ground

"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."

President Francois Hollande also said later on French TV that "we're doing everything to find where they are, to know exactly the intentions of their captors."

A group of journalists and supporters called for the release of the two journalists when they renewed their campaign last week.

In addition to Francois and Elias, five French citizens are still being held in North Africa, along with a Frenchman in Mali and another in Nigeria.

Hollande has said, however, that Philippe Verdon, who was kidnapped in Mali in 2011, is apparently dead.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130714/two-french-journalists-kidnapped-syria-alive