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Afghanistan: ICRC facilitates release of two South Korean hostages

13-08-2007 News Release 07/92

Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated the release of two South Korean hostages in Afghanistan today. The two women had been held by an armed opposition group in Ghazni Province for more than three weeks. ICRC personnel handed them over to a South Korean delegation in the town of Ghazni.

The ICRC served as a neutral intermediary at the request of both the armed group and the South Korean delegation. On 10 and 11 August, the ICRC had already facilitated direct talks between both parties at the provincial headquarters of the Afghan Red Crescent Society in Ghazni.

" The ICRC is relieved that two hostages have been released and that they can now rejoin their families back home, " said Reto Stocker, head of the ICRC delegation in Kabul. The ICRC is hopeful that the remaining 19 hostages will also be released in the near future.

In accordance with its mandate under international humanitarian law, the ICRC has been delivering aid and carrying out other humanitarian work in Afghanistan since 1987.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Jean-Pascal Moret, ICRC Kabul, tel +93 70 282 719 or +93 70 276 465  

 Carla Haddad, ICRC Geneva, tel +41 22 730 2405 or +41 79 217 32 26