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Taliban: 2 hostages to be released

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  • NEW: Taliban spokesman says 2 hostages will be released
  • Taliban leaders, South Korean negotiators meet to discuss fate of hostages
  • Militants are holding 21 kidnapped South Koreans after killing two of group
  • Group was abducted in Ghazni province on July 19
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KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Taliban militants holding 21 Korean hostages in Afghanistan will release two female hostages who are unwell, a Taliban spokesman says.

Taliban spokesperson Qari Yousuf Ahmad confirmed to CNN late Saturday that the release would take place.

He said the group's "leadership council has decided today that the two female hostages who are under custody of the Taliban without any condition or return, and as a gesture of good will, will be released, so that the Korean government, people and others would try to decide regarding the freedom of the rest of the hostages, and release our prisoners and accept our demands."

"Therefore since these two are sick and are women, so we will release them without any condition or return."

The Taliban earlier said South Korean and Taliban representatives began face-to-face meetings Friday night to negotiate the release of the hostages. The talks continued Saturday.


Talks were being held in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, and the negotiators discussed a Taliban prisoner-hostage swap.

Taliban militants kidnapped 23 South Korean volunteer workers on July 19 when they were traveling on a bus from Kabul to Kandahar. The group killed two male hostages and have long said they'd kill others unless their demands are met. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Journalist Tom Coghlan in Kabul, Afghanistan contributed to this report.

All About AfghanistanAfghanistan WarThe Taliban

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