Taliban agrees to free Christian South Korean hostages


Taliban militants have agreed to free 19 South Koreans on the condition that South Korea pull out its 200 troops by the year's end, end all missionary work in Afghanistan and stop its citizens from traveling there.

A Taliban representative, an official from the South Korean government and mediators met and issued a statement, saying that they had come to an agreement and the hostages would be released as soon as possible.

The rebels kidnapped 23 Christian charity workers from Ghazni province on July 19. They subsequently killed two male hostages, and freed two women.

The BBC reported that no exact release date has been given. But the Taliban have said they will start working immediately to free them.

There has been no mention of money being paid, but it is thought that a ransom may have been part of the deal.

The Christian church that the hostages belong to, near Seoul, said all the families were "rejoicing".

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