A television executive says authorities looking for two journalists in Afghanistan have made contact with the hostage takers, and the reporters are alive.

France Televisions executive Paul Nahon says the information came from a colleague in Afghanistan of the journalists, who went missing with two or three Afghan employees on Wednesday.

Nahon told France-Info radio Friday that the news that the journalists are alive is "a great relief."

French authorities have refused to confirm any hostage-taking and urged discretion in such cases. They only said the journalists for France-3 television disappeared while traveling in Kapisa province east of Kabul.

French soldiers in the region are fighting Taliban and other insurgents as part of a NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.