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Talks to Free SKorean Hostages Have Failed: Taliban - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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GHAZNI, Afghanistan (AFP) -Taliban militants on Saturday were deciding the fate of 19 South Korean hostages in Afghanistan after talks for their release failed, a spokesman for the militia told AFP.

“The negotiations have failed. The Taliban leading council is making its decision now on the fate of the hostages,” said the spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi.

Face-to-face talks between Taliban negotiators and a South Korean delegation in Ghazni, the capital of Ghazni province where the 23 Christian aid workers were abducted nearly a month ago, ended Thursday with no result, he said.

Ahmadi said more talks did not seem “probable” as Taliban demands for the release of some of their men from prisoner in exchange for the hostages’ liberty had not been met by the Afghan government.

“Further talks will not achieve anything, the Koreans told us that the Americans and the Afghan government are not ready to release our prisoners,” he said.

The Taliban freed two women hostages on Monday in what they said was a “gesture of good will”. The two were the first to be released since the South Koreans were seized on July 19 on the main highway south of the capital Kabul.

Two of the men in the group have been murdered, and the Taliban have threatened to shoot more if their demands are not met.

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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