KANDAHAR, Afghanistan _ A purported Taliban spokesman said Monday the
hard-line militia has extended its deadline for the lives of 23 South Korean
hostages until Tuesday evening.
A man holds the South
Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo which displays on their front page an image
of a group of South Korean Christians posing for a commemorative
photograph before leaving for Afghanistan on 13
Qari Yousef Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the Taliban, said late Monday the
militants extended the deadline another day after the Afghan government refused
to release any of the 23 Taliban prisoners the insurgents want freed.
The militants have pushed back their ultimatum on the Koreans' fate at least
three times. Afghan officials in Ghazni province have met the militants in
person and are also negotiating over the phone, but little progress appears to
have been made so far.