Wednesday, August 29, 2007

8 South Korean Hostages Freed

(Reuters photo)

The Taliban released 8 South Korean hostages in 2 batches to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

AP: To secure the hostages’ release, South Korea reaffirmed a pledge to withdraw its 200 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year and prevent South Korean Christian missionaries from working there. The Taliban apparently backed down on earlier demands for a prisoner exchange. [More]

Reuters: A spokesman for South Korea's president, Chon Ho-seon, did not respond to questions at a news briefing in Seoul on Wednesday on whether a ransom was part of the deal but said South Korea had done what was needed.

"We believe it is any country's responsibility to respond with flexibility to save lives as long as you don't depart too far from the principles and practice of the international community," Chon said. [More]

USAToday: Barnett Rubin, an Afghanistan expert at New York University, said the agreement was a public relations victory for the Taliban. "It has enhanced their stature as an Afghan political group," he said. "They engaged in negotiations with a foreign government." [More]

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