Breaking News: Taliban says two South Korean hostages freed

BBC News and Agence France-Presse are reporting that the Taliban has freed two women among 21 South Korean hostages held in Afghanistan as a “gesture of goodwill”, a spokesman for the militia said.

“Our leadership council decided to free unconditionally and as a gesture of goodwill two women hostages who are sick,” spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi said.

A second spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, confirmed the two women had been released.

No officials, from either the South Korean embassy in Kabul or the Afghani Government, were able to confirm that any hostages had been freed.

If the women had not yet arrived at an agreed handover point, “transportation difficulty” would be the reason, Mr Ahmadi said.

“But what I can tell you is the leadership council has said they must be freed, so they’re freed,” he said.

The decision came hours after Taliban representatives concluded the first face-to-face talks with a South Korean delegation in the town of Ghazni, 140km south of Kabul.

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