New York

31 July 2007

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the killing of Korean hostages in Afghanistan

The Secretary-General deplores the killing of two of the hostages from the Republic of Korea held by the Taliban. He offers his sincere condolences to the family of the victims and to the Korean people. He remains deeply concerned for the safety and welfare of the 21 Korean hostages, the German national and the four Afghans, who are still being detained. The Secretary-General notes that these hostages include many young women who came to help the people of Afghanistan and they should not be made part of the conflict in that country.

The Secretary-General fully supports the Afghan authorities in their continuing efforts to ensure the safe return of all those being held against their will.