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Death doom looms over South Korean hostages

Aug 01, 2007 10:57 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Time may be running out with the discovery of the body of the second Korean hostage by his Taliban captors. And not just Kabul but the US is feeling the heat from its ally South Korea. “We're angry because the US has been constantly making statements saying it will support the South Korean government without taking any specific measures,” said General Director of solidarity for peace and reunification of Korea, Pyon Yeon-Shik. With Kabul refusing to implement a prisoner for hostage swap and Taliban in no mood to show mercy, Pakistan readied to get involved. Leader of Opposition Maulana Fazlur Rehman offered to negotiate for the safe release of the 21 surviving Korean missionaries but the gesture may have come too late. A military operation to rescue them is now reportedly underway in Ghazni. Few details are known except that the operation began hours after a Taliban deadline expired. There is no word on the fate of the 21 hostages, 18 of whom are women. The Taliban had warned of more killings if jailed associates were not released within the deadline. The Taliban have not reacted to the offensive but spokesmen have repeatedly said any use of force would jeopardise the lives of the hostages.