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Reuters: No Force To Free Afghanistan Hostages

From a seemingly confused Reuters:

S.Korea, U.S. agree no force to free Afghan hostages

Thu Aug 2, 2007 8:35AM EDT

By Yousuf Azimy

GHAZNI, Afghanistan (Reuters) – South Korea and the United States agreed on Thursday not to use force to free 21 Korean hostages in Afghanistan, but Afghan troops warned of a possible offensive in the area where the captives are held.

The Taliban kidnapped 23 South Korean Christian church volunteers, 18 of them women, in Ghazni province, southwest of Kabul, two weeks ago and later killed two of them.

The hardline Islamist guerrillas have threatened to kill the rest unless their jailed comrades are freed.

South Korean Foreign Minister Song Min-soon and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte met on the sidelines of a regional security forum in the Philippines on Thursday.

“They agreed that both countries will not use any kind of force,” a South Korean diplomat said.

The body of Shim Sung-min, 29, the second South Korean hostage to be shot, arrived home on Thursday. His family said it would donate his remains for medical research.

The remaining 21 hostages were still alive, but two of the women were seriously ill and could die, a Taliban spokesman said on Wednesday, again warning they all might be killed if the Afghan government did not free insurgent prisoners.

The government has refused to give in to the demand, saying that would only encourage further abductions.

The Taliban have also warned that any attempt to rescue the hostages by force would put the captives’ lives at risk.

Army helicopters dropped leaflets in several districts of Ghazni province on Wednesday warning residents to move to secure areas to avoid casualties during an operation to be launched in the “coming weeks”, the Afghan Defence Ministry said.

But the ministry said it was a routine operation not linked to the kidnapping…

One supposes this means that yesterday’s article from Reuters claiming Afghan troops were already moving on the hostage holders was inaccurate.

In typical fashion, Reuters just ignores their mistaken reporting.

The Taliban have also warned that any attempt to rescue the hostages by force would put the captives’ lives at risk.

Aren’t their lives already at risk?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 2nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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