A memorial service has been held in South Korea for the leader of a group of abducted Koreans who was killed by his captors in Afghanistan. Deep concern remains over the fate of the 22 Christian aid workers still being held by the Taliban. Talks are underway with their captors to try to secure their release.
The Taliban are demanding the release of some of their jailed militants in exchange for the hostages. They have threatened to kill them if talks fail.
President Hamid Karzai has excluded any prisoner exchange after he came under fire for handing over Taliban militants against an Italian journalist earlier this year.
South Korea’s special envoy who arrived in Kabul on Friday is holding talks with president Karzai.
Afghan mediators trying to secure the hostages’ release have warned they would consider resorting to force if dialogue fails.
Security has been stepped up in the Ghazni region where the aid workers were seized on July 19.