‘Please send them back’

The families of some of the South Korean hostages talk to Al Jazeera.

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Watch Melissa Chan’s report on the hostages’ families

Families of the South Korean hostages held in Afghanistan by the Taliban have mourned the killing of one of the captives.

A Taliban spokesman contacted media organisations on Thursday to say that the remaining 22 hostages were still alive.

Melissa Chan, reporting for Al Jazeera from South Korea, spoke to the families of the hostages.

Seo Jeong-Bae


Seo Jeong-Bae: “To the Taliban and the Afghan government, I appeal to you.  My children went to the country to help your children. Please send them back to me, because I want to hold them in my arms again.”


The South Koreans, a group of Christians involved in aid work in Afghanistan, were abducted by the Taliban last Thursday.

Kim Kyung-Ja

Kim Kyung-Ja: “My daughter is 38 years old and went to Afghanistan to teach children how to paint.  She was supposed to be back from her trip by now.  Please bring her back to me.”

In return for their release, the group demanded the withdrawal of South Korean troops from Afghanistan and the release of Taliban prisoners held by the Afghan government.

But after three deadlines for their demands passed, negotiations  broke down and the group killed one of the hostages.

Yang Suk-Ja


Yang Suk-Ja: “My daughter is 31-years old and works in computers.  She went to Afghanistan to teach children how to use computers. She was always a child to get sick often – I worry about her health – I can’t sleep worrying about her.”

On Wednesday, the body of Bae Hyung-Kyu, the group’s leader and a pastor with South Korea’s Presbyterian church, was found by the Kabul-Kandahar highway, riddled with gunshot wounds.

Na Chae-Suk

Seoul has condemned the killing.

Na Chae-Suk: “My son is 32 years-old and works in an office – but he loves photography and is the photographer for the team.”

On Thursday, South Korea sent a special envoy to Afghanistan in the hope of bringing back the rest of the hostages alive, but the South Korean delegation faces the possibility that the Taliban may kill hostages at each impasse in negotiations.

Source: Al Jazeera


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