• Two French journalists missing in Syria: employer

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    PARIS: Two journalists working for a French radio channel have gone missing in war-torn Syria, with no word from them in 24 hours, their employer Europe 1 said early Friday.

    The pair were named as Didier Francois, a seasoned reporter in troublespots, and photographer Edouard Elias, the radio station said in a statement to AFP, adding that it was working with the French authorities to obtain more information.

    The statement came shortly after French President Francois Hollande called for the release of two French reporters missing in Syria.

    “I demand that these journalists be freed immediately,” Hollande told reporters in Japan, where he is currently on a tour, without mentioning the names or affiliation of those missing.

    The reporters “are not representatives of any state, they are men who work so that the world can receive information,” Hollande said.

    “The press must circulate in Syria in order to provide news awaited by the entire world” on what is happening in the country, he said.

    Since the start of uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in March 2011, at least 24 journalists, including several foreigners, have been killed in the strife, according to Reporters Without Borders watchdog group.

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