Taliban threat to kill hostages after second dies

A second South Korean hostage was on Tuesday confirmed shot dead by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Days of Noah

”The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
—Genesis 6:11

Hated for His Name’s Sake

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
—Matthew 24:9

The Islamist rebels threatened to kill more of the remaining 21 Korean Christian aid workers being held if their demands for the release of militants – jailed by the Afghan government – were not met by a new deadline on Wednesday.

The latest murder highlights the difficulty Seoul finds itself in. It is trying to negotiate the release of its citizens but has no scope to meet Taliban demands. Its foreign ministry said the body of Shim Sung-min, 28, had been found on the side of a road in Ghazni province, south-west of Kabul.

“The Korean government strongly condemns and urges an immediate end to these heinous acts of killing innocent people in order to press for demands that it can’t meet,” said Cheon Ho-seon, a spokesman for President Roh Moo-hyun.

Shim was a member of the Saemmul Church in Bundang, south of Seoul, whose members defied official travel warnings and went to Afghanistan to help in hospitals and schools during their summer holidays.

The 18 women and five men were kidnapped nearly two weeks ago south of Kabul. Their leader, Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu, 42, was killed last week.

Qari Mohammad Yousuf, a Taliban spokesman, told Reuters news agency: “If the Kabul administration and Korean government do not give a positive reply to our demand about the release of prisoners by tomorrow 12.00 [local time], we will start killing other hostages.”

But President Hamid Karzai’s government, which was criticised for swapping five Taliban for a kidnapped Italian journalist earlier this year, appears unwilling to trade. “We shouldn’t encourage kidnapping by accepting their demands,” said a presidential spokesman.

In South Korea, the government pointed out that it could not meet the kidnappers’ demand.

Mr Cheon said: “This demand is not within the power of the Korean government because it doesn’t have any effective means to influence the decisions of the Afghan government.”

However, he implicitly called on Washington to encourage Kabul to make such a trade, saying: “It would be worthwhile to use flexibility in the cause of saving the precious lives of those still in captivity.”

Seoul was “appealing to the international community to do so”.

  1. jen-o, 31 July, 2007

    now, here’s some peace-loving folks for you… who find it necessary to kill (and terrorize) those horrible aid workers who have come to work in hospitals on their summer holiday…

    these are the SAME kind of “peace-loving” folks who demand that israel give them some of their GOD-GIVEN land to create a “palestinian state” for a group of people who don’t even exist…

  2. Scott L., 31 July, 2007

    Hey, I want to know where is the “United Nut” jobs in all of this?

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