They feel legitimized and respected now….great!
Taliban militants vowed to abduct more foreigners after ending a six-week hostage drama by releasing the last seven of a group of kidnapped South Koreans under a deal with the Seoul government.
We will do the same thing with the other allies in Afghanistan, because we found this way to be successful,’ Taleban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi told the Associated Press via cell phone from an undisclosed location.
The seven hostages were handed over Thursday to the International Committee of the Red Cross in two separate exchanges close to the central Afghan city of Ghazni, Red Cross officials and an Associated Press reporter said. The freed hostages did not speak to reporters.
The South Korean government and relatives of the hostages _ all of whom belonged to a Presbyterian church close to Seoul _ have insisted they were not engaged in missionary activities, but were doing aid work such as helping in hospitals.
In Washington, the State Department welcomed the hostages’ release. When asked if South Korea’s negotiations with the Taliban set a dangerous precedent, spokesman Tom Casey refrained from directly criticizing the Seoul government.
I’d simply reiterate that the long-standing US policy is … not to make concessions to terrorists,’
While there was no sign that the militants extracted any other concessions, analysts say the militants emerged from the crisis with renewed political legitimacy because for the first time since their 2001 ouster, they negotiated with a foreign government.
Taliban now have diplomacy, they have got spokesmen, they value cameras, they have a political dimension for their movement, and their aim is to be recognized as legitimate,’ said Mustafa Alani, director of security and terrorism studies at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center.