They shot him up with an AK-47, assuming they’re telling the truth. Which they probably are: the hostage murdered last week was killed the same way. Who knows what Koranic stricture they’re following that’s telling them to go with the gun instead of the machete, but thank heaven for small favors, I guess.

The Afghan government prevailed upon them to push the deadline back but this morning the Taliban issued a final ultimatum to release the prisoners they asked for within three hours or they’d kill someone else. They’ve done that now; the next deadline is in two days. The government knows where they are, incidentally, and has the place surrounded but they must figure it’s wired to blow in case of a raid. They may not have any choice now but to move in.

Of the 21 hostages left, 18 are women.