By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST MinistriesAFGHANISTAN (ANS) – A South Korean woman held hostage with 21 others in Afghanistan has pleaded for help to secure their release, says the BBC.
A South Korean woman held hostage with 21 others in Afghanistan has pleaded for help to secure their release, says the BBC.The woman, who identified herself as Yo Syun Ju, told an Afghan reporter by telephone all the hostages were sick. “Tell them to do something to get us released,” she said in an interview carried out in the presence of the Taliban militants holding her captive.
A group of 23 Koreans was abducted a week ago. The kidnappers have since killed one of the hostages.
In an interview obtained by the BBC from an Afghan journalist, Ms Yo, who said she was from Seoul, described her situation as “dangerous,” adding: “Day by day it is getting very difficult…
“We are all sick and we have a lot of problems.”
The BBC story went on to say, “The hostages are aid workers for a Christian group. The Koreans, who are mostly women, were abducted one week ago in Ghazni province, south-west of the capital Kabul.
“The Taliban have threatened to kill the hostages if the Afghan government refused to meet their demands.
“On Wednesday, the body of one of the hostages - later identified as 42-year-old pastor Bae Hyung-kyu - was found with multiple bullet wounds in Ghazni.”
The office of South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun condemned the killing as an “inhumane act.”
The BBC story concluded: “The Seoul government has sent an envoy to Afghanistan to negotiate the remaining hostages’ release. Following an increase in insurgent attacks, Afghan police have banned foreigners from traveling outside Kabul without their permission, the Associated Press news agency reports.
“There has been an increase in kidnappings, as well as more frequent clashes between Taliban and foreign troops, roadside bombings and suicide attacks in recent months.
“After the mass kidnapping, South Korea banned its citizens from traveling to Afghanistan.”
All of the hostages come from Saemmul Community Church which is based in Bundang, on the southern outskirts of Seoul. It is one of a number of big Presbyterian churches in South Korea, with about 1,500 members. The church funds social programmes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East and sends volunteers from the church to work on short-term projects.