South Korea's president has denounced the killing of one of 23 Korean hostages in Afghanistan and called on Taleban militants to immediately release the remaining captives.
A statement from President Roh Moo-hyun said the kidnappers blamed for the killing will never avoid responsibility for the act. It also said the president will send a high-ranking special envoy to Afghanistan to help resolve the crisis.
The kidnappers latest deadline for freeing Taleban prisoners in exchange for the hostages has passed with no announcement of a deal or word about the fate of the 22 Koreans.Militants have threatened to kill the hostages if their demands are not met.
South Korean officials have confirmed that one of the hostages, a 42-year-old minister, named Bae Hyung-Kyu, was killed by militants. His bullet-ridden body was found in Ghazni province earlier Wednesday.
Earlier reports that some of the hostages were released have since been denied by Afghan officials.
The 23 South Korean Christian aid workers, 18 women and five men, were abducted last week as they were riding in a bus in eastern Afghanistan.
Also Wednesday, the governor of Kunar province, Dedar Shalezai, says militants freed a foreign journalist and his Afghan translator after seizing the pair early this morning in the eastern region.
I look forward to the mass Islamic protests at this barbaric killing which are sure to follow...