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South Korea insists it paid no ransom to Taliban - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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SEOUL, (Reuters) – South Korea’s presidential office denied a Taliban claim on Saturday that it had paid a ransom of more than $20 million for the release of 19 Christian missionaries held hostage in Afghanistan. “We deny any payment for the release of South Korean hostages,” said an official at the presidential Blue House. “The two conditions for the release are that we pull out our troops and stop Korean missionary work in Afghanistan by the end of the year,” said he official who declined to be identified. The freed hostages flew out of Afghanistan on Friday to Dubai en route for South Korea.

A Taliban commander, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday: “We got more than $20 million dollars from them (the Seoul government). With it we will purchase arms, get our communication network renewed and buy vehicles for carrying out more suicide attacks.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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