July 21, 2007

Taliban Demands S. Korea Withdraw Troops from Afghanistan, Or 18 Christian Missionaries Will Be MURDERED


After claiming that they killed two German and 5 Afghan hostages earlier today, the Taliban said that the lives of 18 Christian missionaries hinge on South Korea pulling its 200 troops from Afghanistan (via MSNBC):

[Taliban spokesman] Ahmadi said that 18 kidnapped Koreans would also be killed Saturday if South Korea didn’t withdraw its 200 troops in Afghanistan.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun urged the Taliban to “send our people home quickly and safely.” He said 23 South Koreans had been abducted.

Roh also spoke with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and asked for cooperation to quickly win the release of the South Koreans, Roh’s office said.

The S. Korean troops mainly work on reconstruction and health care projects. The captive Koreans were on a mission trip to work in a Khandahar hospital.

Joseph Park, mission director of the Christian Council of Korea, said: “They are young Korean Christians who were engaged in short-term evangelistic activity and service for children in Kandahar. We cannot turn away from poor people and children there just because of safety risks.”

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