Taliban free 4 more Korean hostages

GHAZNI, Afghanistan, Reuters

Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan released on Thursday four of the remaining seven South Korean hostages they had kidnapped nearly six weeks ago, witnesses said.

The two men and two women were handed over to officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ghazni province from where the Taliban seized the 23 Christian volunteers on July 19.

A Taliban representative said the other three hostages would be freed later on Thursday.

But a tribal chief involved in the negotiations over the release of the hostages, was reported as saying that the other three, the last batch of the captives, may be freed on Friday.

He did not give any reason for the possible delay.

Thursday’s release brings the total number of hostages freed to 16, as part of a deal between Seoul and the Taliban.

The Taliban had killed two of the male hostages last month, but had released two female during the first round of talks two weeks ago.