Joshua Stanton at One Free Korea: “Only death cults murder innocents in the names of their gods. This should only deepen the world’s contempt for this gang of cultist thugs, these modern-day Assassins, and be further evidence of the need for us to eradicate it. If Roh Moo Hyun had an ounce of statesmanship in his wrung-out scrotum, he’d publicly promise Hamid Karzai 100 ROK Special Forces for every hostage murdered.”
Update 10:00am Eastern. Christian Post reports, “Korean Evangelical Churches Under Cyber-Attack Amid Hostage Crisis“…”Evangelical churches in Korea are receiving criticism for sending missionaries to Afghanistan, following the recent kidnapping of 23 church volunteers. In one of the world’s most internet-savvy countries, “cybercitizens” have been building up anti-Christian sentiment by posting up insults to victims and their families on blogs and community forums…One popular website, DC Inside, was used by some cybercitizens to boast they had emailed the Taliban calling for them to kill the hostages. The website has now attempted to filter out and remove these postings. Chosun has also reported that the official websites of Saemmul Church in Bundang, the home church of the hostages, and Korea Foundation for World Aid have had to close after being inundated with attacks and insults for sending the Koreans to Afghanistan.”
Update 9:20am Eastern. Did South Korea pay ransom for hostages? South Korean news agency Yonhap reports:
Eight of 23 South Korean hostages in Afghanistan were released late Wednesday, a government official said, amid reports that the South Korean government paid a ransom to the kidnappers. The Taliban had earlier demanded the abductees be exchanged for an equal number of Taliban prisoners.
Whether the Afghan government has agreed to release Taliban prisoners could not be confirmed.
An unidentified Afghan official, however, earlier told Japan’s Kyodo News agency that “huge amounts of money” had been paid to the Taliban for the release of the eight hostages. Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a purported spokesman for the Taliban, said the group would first swap eight hostages for the same number of Taliban prisoners, hoping to later exchange a greater number of hostages for prisoners.
The hostages will be moved to a safe zone and will then be flown back to South Korea after a medical check-up. The purported Taliban spokesman earlier said some of the eight were sick, the official said.
Lesson not learned: If you subsidize it, you will get more of it. Blood money begets more blood.
Update: 9:06am Eastern.
Conflicting reports over whether the male hostage was “sick” or shot dead.
More details: The one murdered South Korean Christian hostage was reportedly shot around 4pm. Eight have apparently been freed and taken to a US base.
Plus: “A German journalist and two Afghans colleagues apparently kidnapped by militants have been freed, an Afghan governor said Wednesday,” AP reports.
An update on the hostage crisis that no one seems to care about:
A purported Taliban spokesman said Wednesday that negotiations for the lives of 23 South Korean hostages have stalled and that the militants planned to kill “a few” of the captives.
Qari Yousef Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the militants, said the Afghan government hadn’t responded to any of its demands and that the militants would kill “a few” of the hostages before 2 p.m. (5:30 a.m. EDT). There was no immediate word on their fate after the deadline passed.
Three previous deadlines for the hostages’ lives have passed with no consequences.
“The Taliban have lost their patience with it all so they will be killed … because a lot of time has passed since the deadline and there has been no response,” Ahmadi told The Associated Press by satellite phone. “The Taliban takes no responsibility for the killing.” Though some of Ahmadi’s statements turn out to be true, he also has made repeated false claims, calling into question the reliability of his information.
Ali Shah Ahmadzai, the provincial police chief, said he thought talks had been on a positive track and said the new threat was a surprise. “I don’t know why they’ve suddenly changed their mind,” Ahmadzai said. “My message to the Taliban is to use tolerance and be patient. This (killing hostages) is against the Afghan culture.”
Eighteen of the 23 hostages are women.