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Hostage Deadline Set for Today at 4:30 p.m.

Posted August. 01, 2007 07:06,   


Taliban insurgents suggested 4:30 p.m. on August 1 as a new deadline for negotiations after they killed another Korean hostage, Shim Seong-min (29), on July 31. The Taliban said they would kill the 21 hostages one by one if the negotiations fail to meet their expectations this time.

Taliban spokesman Yousuf warned on July 31 through the foreign press, including the AP and AFP, that the last deadline for the 21 left hostages would be this afternoon (Korean time: 4:30 p.m. August 1).

Yousuf accused both the Afghan and Korean governments of rejecting their demand for the release of Taliban prisoners and for being insincere during the negotiations. He threatened, “We will start to murder the hostages unless the demand for the release of the prisoners is met.”

The Taliban spokesman warned in an interview with Yonhap News on the phone, “We will execute male hostages then female hostages. As it is hard and dangerous for us to get the hostages moved every night, the executions will go fast.”

However, the Afghanistan government still says that they will not respond to the rebels’ requests.

After Shim was killed, Humayun Hamidzada, spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, announced to foreign reporters that, “The release of Taliban prisoners cannot be accepted because it would make kidnapping an industry.”

The Taliban militants killed the second victim, Shim, at 01:00 a.m. on July 31 (Korean time), a week after pastor Bae Hyeong-gyu (42) was murdered on July 25.

His corpse was found in the morning on July 31 on a side of road in Andar, Ghazni. A reporter from the AP who witnessed the body on the spot said Shim wore a blue striped shirt, white pants and glasses. Shim was found dead with four or five gunshots to his head and body, the AFP reported.

Meanwhile the Arab TV station al-Jazeera aired a one-minute video showing haggard 12 male and female Korean hostages on July 31.