Friday, August 17, 2007

Afghanistan-Two Korean hostages released by the Taliban return home

By Jack Kim SEOUL, Aug 17 -Reuters : "Two weary-looking South Koreans held hostage for about a month by the Taliban in Afghanistan returned home on Friday, hoping for the safe return of 19 others who remain captive.

The Taliban freed the two women on Monday, the first captives to be released since insurgents seized 23 Koreans from a bus in Ghazni province on the main road south from the capital Kabul last month."I only hope for the release of the others," Kim Ji-na, a 32-year-old animation instructor, said just after arriving at Incheon airport, which serves Seoul.Looking tense and tired, and with their heads held low, the two showed no signs of joy or relief......"

Unfortunately this hostage crisis drags on and on. Last weekend it appeared that the Taliban were about to release all remaining hostages having already murdered two of the original 23 seized. The Taliban have threatened to kill the hostages, most of whom are young women, if their demand to free insurgent prisoners is not met. The Afghan Government has steadfastly refuse exchange prisoners for the hostages.
Largely the world stands by. There is very little coverage on the world media with some honourable exceptions. Is it not time for Saudi Arabia to use its influence to secure the release of the hostages? The Saudis and Taliban are mainly Sunni Moslems.

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