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South Korean hostages in Afghanistan.



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Media contact: Malcolm Cole (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 Department 02 6261 1555 www.dfat.gov.au

MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA096 3 August 2007

SOUTH KOREAN HOSTAGES IN AFGHANISTAN

I am deeply saddened by the recent abduction and killing of South Korean citizens in Afghanistan. I offer my condolences to the families of the abducted citizens, particularly to the families of those tragically murdered.

This is a cowardly act by the Taliban who continue to kill, maim and abduct innocent civilians in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s use of such barbaric tactics, mostly aimed at Afghans themselves, underlines the need for the international community to remain steadfast in its mission to defeat these extremists and to help the Afghan Government bring stability and development to its people.

The Taliban should immediately and unconditionally release the South Korean, German and Afghan hostages and cease its terror tactics.

The Australian Government will not waiver in its support both for the Government of Afghanistan and for ordinary Afghans anxious to build a secure and peaceful future.