Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Military forces surround Taliban holding South Korean hostages | Guardian Unlimited

Military forces surround Taliban holding South Korean hostages | Guardian Unlimited:
"American and Afghan soldiers surrounded a district in central Afghanistan where 23 South Korean Christian aid workers were being held hostage last night as their Taliban captors extended a deadline for their demands by 24 hours.

The insurgents, who snatched the South Koreans from a bus at gunpoint on Thursday, have threatened to start executing the group unless an equal number of imprisoned fighters are freed.

Intensive negotiations involving President Hamid Karzai, Korean hostage negotiators and local tribal elders were under way last night as tearful relatives held a candlelight vigil outside the aid workers' church in Seoul."
With the happy news of the release of the Bulgarian medics from their death sentence in Libya, another hostage crisis is coming to a head in Afghanistan.

One thing that is not mentioned very frequently is that these 23 hostages, mostly women, are Presbyterian. The Presbyterian Church in Korea is perhaps 125 years old, but they are heavily involved in service around the world. This particular case involves a group that was traveling to a medical facility in the southern part of Afghanistan. It sounds like a short-term mission work trip, but so few of the stories seem to cover the motivations of these workers.

We can only hope and pray that the hostages are released without the need for force, which would in all likelihood result the deaths of many of the hostages.

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