In an effort to end the two-week ordeal of 21 South Korean hostages, representatives from Seoul are hoping to have direct talks with their Taliban captors. According to the Afghan deputy interior minister and the governor of Ghazni province where the Christian volunteers were abducted, preparations are underway to arrange a meeting.
No venue has been agreed as yet, but a Taliban spokesperson has said they want to negotiate directly with the South Koreans because the Kabul administration is not sincere about releasing Taliban prisoners – the chief demand of the kidnappers. South Korea has agreed not to use force to free the hostages but Afghan troops earlier warned locals of a possible offensive.
In the South Korean capital, nightly vigils are held for the safe return of the hostages. The Taliban has already killed two male members of the mainly female team. Their bodies have been flown back home to their grieving families.
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