Saturday, July 21, 2007

South Korean Believers Captured In Afghanistan

Most of you have heard of this, either by my many emails or by reading the headlines in the news yourself. Please keep praying for these Believers. They need our support and prayers. Fortunately, this land and these people are not a distant reality for me anymore, so I am personally feeling the ramifications and devastation of this.....

S.Korea urges release of hostages in Afghanistan
KABUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on Saturday called for the release of 23 countrymen held hostage by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, saying they were medical volunteers.
The call came as the Taliban threatened to kill two German hostages seized this week if their demand to free all of the Islamic movement's members in Afghan prisons was not met by an 0730 GMT (8:30 a.m. British time) deadline.
The Taliban is also seeking the withdrawal of all German troops from Afghanistan, a demand rejected by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a newspaper interview on Saturday.
Insurgents kidnapped 23 South Koreans from a bus in southwest Ghazni province on Thursday in what was the biggest group of foreigners seized so far in the militant campaign to oust the government and its Western backers.
"We understand the kidnapped South Koreans have been doing medical volunteer services," Roh told a news conference in Seoul.
"The kidnappers must release our people as soon as possible, and safely. In any case, valuable lives should not be damaged."
A South Korean Foreign Ministry official had said on Friday about 20 South Korean Christian volunteers were feared to have been kidnapped by Taliban insurgents.
Last year, the South Korean government tried to stop a group of 2,000 Korean Christians travelling to Afghanistan for a peace conference, fearing for their safety.
But 900 of them still came to Afghanistan, causing an uproar in the staunchly Muslim country -- where many accused them of being evangelical missionaries -- before they were all deported.
South Korea has no combat troops in Afghanistan, but has a contingent of 200 engineers, doctors and medical staff. Roh said they would remain in Afghanistan until their mission was complete.
"The troops in Afghanistan are non-combatant, doing medical and support work. They have been trying to treat hundreds of people everyday and help reconstruct Afghanistan by building welfare facilities and bridges, and their mission is nearing an end," Roh said.
Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf told Reuters from an undisclosed location that the group's leadership council would decide on Saturday the fate of the Koreans, who included 18 women.


1 comment:

Wilma said...

Good post.