2 sick hostages to be freed

2 sick hostages to be freed

GHAZNI – A Taliban spokesman reiterated yesterday that the militants will soon free two sick, female South Korean hostages but said the timing of the release hasn’t yet been decided.

The international Red Cross said it had no information about an upcoming release. Spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the two would be released in part because Taliban leaders were happy with the progress being made in face-to-face talks between two Taliban leaders and South Korean negotiators.”The time hasn’t been decided.It could be today,” Ahmadi said of the release, reiterating an announcement he first made on Saturday.The reliability of Ahmadi’s information is questionable.Some of his reports turn out to be true but some do not.Some news reports yesterday quoted Ahmadi as saying that Taliban leaders had changed their minds and decided not to free the two women, but Ahmadi told The Associated Press that those reports had misquoted him, in some cases because of translation issues, and that the women were still to be released.Franz Rauchenstein, an official with the International Committee of the Red Cross, said Sunday he had no information about “when and how and where these hostages are going to be released,” referring to the two women.Past releases in other hostage situations have been coordinated through the Red Cross.Two Taliban leaders and four South Korean officials met Saturday for a second day of face-to-face talks over the fate of 21 South Korean hostages being held since July 19 by the militants.Taliban leaders have demanded that 21 militant prisoners be released in exchange for the Koreans’ lives, though the government has said it won’t release any prisoners.The two Taliban leaders said on Saturday that the Koreans would ‘definitely’ be released, possibly as soon as ‘today or tomorrow’, though South Korea downplayed that claim, saying it didn’t think a release would come so quickly.Talks lasted several hours on Saturday, though no new negotiations were held Sunday morning and it wasn’t clear that any would be held in person the rest of the day.Marajudin Pathan, the local governor, said late on Saturday that negotiators had not discussed freeing the two women.Pathan said he did not think the hostage crisis would be resolved by acceding to Taliban demands to release their imprisoned militants, ‘but we’ll see if it’s by some other avenue’.He refused to specify if that meant a ransom payment, though he has said previously he thought money would resolve the situation.Nampa-APSpokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the two would be released in part because Taliban leaders were happy with the progress being made in face-to-face talks between two Taliban leaders and South Korean negotiators.”The time hasn’t been decided.It could be today,” Ahmadi said of the release, reiterating an announcement he first made on Saturday.The reliability of Ahmadi’s information is questionable.Some of his reports turn out to be true but some do not.Some news reports yesterday quoted Ahmadi as saying that Taliban leaders had changed their minds and decided not to free the two women, but Ahmadi told The Associated Press that those reports had misquoted him, in some cases because of translation issues, and that the women were still to be released.Franz Rauchenstein, an official with the International Committee of the Red Cross, said Sunday he had no information about “when and how and where these hostages are going to be released,” referring to the two women.Past releases in other hostage situations have been coordinated through the Red Cross.Two Taliban leaders and four South Korean officials met Saturday for a second day of face-to-face talks over the fate of 21 South Korean hostages being held since July 19 by the militants.Taliban leaders have demanded that 21 militant prisoners be released in exchange for the Koreans’ lives, though the government has said it won’t release any prisoners.The two Taliban leaders said on Saturday that the Koreans would ‘definitely’ be released, possibly as soon as ‘today or tomorrow’, though South Korea downplayed that claim, saying it didn’t think a release would come so quickly.Talks lasted several hours on Saturday, though no new negotiations were held Sunday morning and it wasn’t clear that any would be held in person the rest of the day.Marajudin Pathan, the local governor, said late on Saturday that negotiators had not discussed freeing the two women.Pathan said he did not think the hostage crisis would be resolved by acceding to Taliban demands to release their imprisoned militants, ‘but we’ll see if it’s by some other avenue’.He refused to specify if that meant a ransom payment, though he has said previously he thought money would resolve the situation.Nampa-AP

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News