Syria: Freed French journalists head home

Four French journalists freed from captivity in Syria are on their way home. Nicolas Henin, Pierre Torrès, Edouard Elias and Didier Francois were abducted by Islamist fighters last June. The men were reportedly found blindfolded and bound by Turkish troops patrolling next to the Syrian border. President Francois Hollande, who is expected to meet the released hostages when they arrive in France shortly, said they were all in good health. Speaking on French TV the father of freed journalist Nicolas Henin said: ‘‘There were hopes, signs that a process for their release had begun, but we knew it was going to be very difficult and we didn’t expect this outcome so soon.’‘ ‘‘A huge surprise, immeasurable joy and tears. I can’t stand, I’m completely overwhelmed,’‘ said the sister of Pierre Torrès Fabien Namias, the Director of French radio station Europe 1, whose reporter Didier Francois was also taken captive, welcomed the news. ‘‘We never doubted that we would see them again, but we didn’t know when, and how and in what condition. Now there’s a real sense of relief and we can breath easy,’‘ he said. The French government has insisted in did not pay any ransom to the reporters captors for their release from Syria.