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Efforts Continue to Free Remaining South Korean Hostages


Efforts to save the lives of South Korean aid workers held hostage in Afghanistan by the Taleban took on new urgency Tuesday after a claim by the hardline Islamic militia that it killed a second captive.

The insurgents warned the killings will continue unless the Afghan government agrees to trade imprisoned Taleban militants for the hostages.

Purported Taleban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said Monday a South Korean man named Sung Sin was shot dead and his body left in the Qarabagh district of southern Ghazni province. There was no independent confirmation of the claim. Police are looking for the body .

The Arab satellite television channel al-Jazeera broadcast a video Monday showing a group of female hostages wearing headscarves with their captors standing behind them.

The Taleban spokesman said negotiations for the South Korean captives were a "complete failure." He said the insurgents killed the hostage because Afghan and South Korean governments are "playing games and cheating."

Last week, the Taleban killed the leader of the South Korean Christian aid workers, 42-year-old Bae Hyung-ku. His body was found in Ghazni province.

The 23 Christian aid workers were abducted July 19 while traveling by bus to southern Kandahar, a Taleban stronghold. Most of the captives are women.

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