Taliban agree to meet South Koreans over hostages: Afghan governor

GHAZNI, Afghanistan (AFP) – An Afghan governor said the Taliban had agreed to meet South Korean diplomats to discuss the fate of 21 hostages but a delegation member said no confirmation had yet been received.
The Islamic militants have threatened to kill more of the hostages unless the Kabul government agrees to free eight Taliban members from its jails.

Two male captives have already been been shot dead.

“A South Korean diplomatic delegation is to meet the Taliban for face-to-face talks to look for ways and solutions to free the South Korean nationals,” Ghazni governor Mirajuddin Pattan told AFP.

“This request from the Koreans has been accepted by the Taliban and now we are working on how, where and when this meet could take place,” he said.

A member of the South Korean delegation however told AFP that the Taliban’s agreement to a meeting had not been officially confirmed to his group.

The Taliban could not be immediately reached to confirm if it had agreed to such a meeting.

The Islamic militants said late Wednesday they had not killed any more of the aid workers after the expiry of a deadline earlier in the day because the chance of direct talks with the South Koreans could open a “new phase of negotiations”.

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