The bullet-riddled body of a South Korean hostage was found by police Wednesday in central Afghanistan after a purported Taliban spokesman said the militants had killed one of the captives.
The male victim had 10 bullet holes in his head, chest and stomach, and was discovered in the Mushaki area of Qarabagh district in Ghazni province, said police officer Abdul Rahman.
The Taliban spokesman said earlier that the hostage was was killed because Afghan authorities hadn’t met their demands to release other militants from prison.
Chosun identifies the victim
as a male pastor:
Taliban militants who are holding 23 Korean hostages in Afghanistan killed one male hostage at 4 p.m. on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. KST), a purported spokesman for the group said. The Afghan government confirmed a hostage had been killed, while the Afghan Islamic Press quoted the spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, as saying the name of the victim was “Hon Qud son of Hochim.” The victim is believed to be a 42-year-old pastor named Bae Hyung-kyu. “Since Kabul’s administration did not listen to our demand and did not free our prisoners, the Taliban shot dead a male Korean hostage,” he told Reuters.
The Taliban, who had set 6:30 p.m. Wednesday as their negotiating deadline, threatened to kill the hostages after a new deadline on Thursday, 1 a.m. “If the administration of Kabul is not ready to release our hostages, then by 1 a.m. the rest of the hostages will be killed,” Ahmadi said. “That time is the last deadline.”
Korean news station KBS says the Taliban spokesman is denying that other hostages were freed:
A purported Taliban spokesman says the Taliban militants killed a South Korean hostage and dumped his body in the Musheky area of the Qarabagh district in Ghazni province.
Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the Taliban shot and killed a male South Korean hostage because the Afghan government had been refusing their demands. He warned that more hostages will be killed if their demands are not met.
Reports in Seoul said the killed hostage is believed to be 42-year-old pastor Bae Hyung-kyu who led the South Korean group to Afghanistan on a volunteer work mission.
Ahmadi also denied reports that eight hostages had been released, calling it an Afghan government ploy to get an upper hand in hostage negotiations.
The Muslim rebel group has set 5:30 a.m. Korean standard time Thursday, as the final deadline for negotiations.