Like Michelle, I’ll believe it when I see it. However, this is a great development for these innocent people who have been kept in horrible conditions for over 40 days:
Taliban militants in Afghanistan agreed to release 19 South Korean church volunteers held captive since July 19, a spokesman for the insurgents and the South Korean government said Tuesday.
Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, said South Korean and Taliban delegates at face-to-face talks Tuesday in the central town of Ghazni had “reached an agreement” to release the captives.
In Seoul, South Korean presidential spokesman Cheon Ho-sun confirmed a deal was reached.
“We welcome the agreement to release 19 South Koreans,” said Cheon Ho-sun.
This apparently is just in the nick of time, as many of them were supposedly sick from bad weather and lack of food. Earlier this month, two of the hostages were released, both female, but two of the hostages had already been murdered. However, the future looks a little bit brighter for the remaining 19 hostages, and the chances of their making it out alive are that much stronger.
It isn’t all good news though. Christians from South Korea will no longer be allowed in Afghanistan:
South Korean negotiators in Afghanistan have reached a deal with Taliban militants holding 19 South Korean Christian aid workers for over a month, a presidential spokesman in Seoul said Tuesday.
Seoul welcomes the deal, but spokesman Cheon Ho-sun cautioned that many details must still be worked out and the aid workers will not be released immediately.
Under the terms of the agreement, South Korea agreed to stick by its previous decision to withdraw its 200 non-combat troops from Afghanistan, which work mostly in an engineering and medical capacity.
In addition, Seoul will halt all Christian missionary work in Afghanistan.
They are still negotiating, but hopefully it can all be worked out. We can hope for the hostages to be released in three or four days.
Be sure the keep these brave civilians in your prayers.