(Reuters) - Taliban insurgents will release 19 South Korean Christian volunteers they have been holding for nearly six weeks in Afghanistan, South Korea’s presidential Blue House said on Tuesday.
A Taliban negotiator confirmed they would be freed, saying South Korean negotiators had agreed to a set of their demands.
Following are details of reported kidnappings of foreigners in Afghanistan since 2006.
* March 2006 - Taliban insurgents say they killed four hostages and dumped their bodies in the Kandahar-Helmand area in southern Afghanistan. The four were abducted on March 11. An official at the Ecolog services company in Kabul said the four hostages, all from Macedonia, were employees.
* April 2006 - An Indian engineer, identified as K. Suryanarayan, is found beheaded on April 30 not far from where he was kidnapped near the main road between Qalat and Ghazni. The Taliban claim responsibility.
* October 2006 - Gabriele Torsello, a London-based photojournalist who is a Muslim, is kidnapped on October 12 by gunmen after he left by bus from Lashkar-Gah, capital of Helmand province in the south. He is released unharmed on November 3.
* March 2007 - The Taliban capture Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo of La Repubblica and two Afghans in Helmand province. He is handed over to the Italian embassy on March 19 but his Afghan driver is beheaded and his translator is killed on April 8.
* April 2007 - The Taliban say they have kidnapped Eric Damfreville, a Frenchman, working for Terre d’Enfance aid organization, his local driver and two other Afghans in Nimroz province. He is released on May 11. A female French hostage who also worked for Terre d’Enfance is released in late April by the Taliban after three weeks in captivity.
* July 2007 - Two German engineers are kidnapped by the Taliban while traveling in Wardak province, southwest of the capital, Kabul. One German was killed, apparently by his captors. The Taliban later say the other German is still being held along with four Afghans. The German, who identified himself as Rudolph B, appeared in a video on Thursday.
* July 2007 - A group of 23 South Koreans from a church organization in Bundang, outside Seoul, are kidnapped from a bus traveling from Kabul to Kandahar. On July 25, a church pastor who was leading the group was shot dead. Five days later another male South Korean hostage was shot. Two other female captives were freed as a gesture of goodwill during talks.
-- On August 27 the Taliban agreed to release the hostages after South Korea agreed to meet certain conditions such as halting its citizens from conducting Christian missionary activity in Afghanistan. A South Korean presidential spokesman said it could take some time before the actual release.
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