August 13, 2007 / 1:30 PM / in 11 years

S.Korea confirms release of two Afghanistan hostages

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that two Korean women held hostage for nearly a month by Taliban insurgents have been freed.

“Two of the hostages have been freed and handed over to us safely,” said a ministry spokesman in a televised briefing.

The ministry identified the released hostages as Kim Kyung-ja and Kim Ji-na. It did not provide further details.

“It is fortunate that even a part of the group of hostages was released ... the government will make its best effort to ensure everyone’s safe return,” the spokesman added.

Taliban insurgents kidnapped a group of 23 South Koreans, almost all young women, sent by a Christian church in suburban Seoul to do relief work in Afghanistan. They have killed two of the male hostages.

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