“Taliban vows to kidnap, kill more foreigners,” by Sayed Salahuddin for Reuters (thanks to JE):
AFGHANISTAN’S Taliban plan to abduct and kill more nationals from foreign countries whose troops serve under NATO and the US military in the country, a spokesman for the Islamic movement warned today.
The vow comes just days after the Taliban released 19 South Korean hostages after their Government struck a deal that critics said sets a dangerous precedent that could spur more kidnappings and make life even more dangerous for foreigners.
“We consider it (kidnapping) as an arm that can help us in imparting a blow to the enemy,” Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
“Kidnapping … and killing of (nationals) of those countries who have come for the annihilation of the nation of Afghanistan, are works which suppress the enemy,” he added.
Yousuf, one of two Taliban spokesmen, said the group would not target nationals from foreign countries who have no troops in Afghanistan.
Under the deal agreed last week, South Korea said it would pull its civilian nationals from Afghanistan by the end of August and withdraw its 200 troops working as doctors and engineers by the end of the year.
The troop pull-out was already planned.
The Taliban, for its part, dropped its central demand for the release of jailed insurgents.
A senior Taliban commander said on condition of anonymity at the weekend that the deal also included a ransom payment of more than $US20 million ($24.32 million), which would be used to buy weapons and fund suicide attacks.