Breaking: South Korean hostage deadline passes, Reuters reports a rescue operation is underway Updated: Reuters withdraws its report

CNN’s Kiran Chetry read from the Reuters report on the air a few minutes ago. I’ll have that video shortly.

An operation aimed at rescuing the remaining 21 Korean hostages held by the Taliban began on Wednesday in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, a provincial official said, hours after the expiry of another Taliban deadline.



Update: Here’s the CNN segment.


Update: Let me throw the appropriate caveat on this report. It’s Reuters and based on the word of the local district chief where the hostages are being held. Previous reports have indicated that the Afghan government had the hostage-takers surrounded.

Here’s more detail on the possible rescue from a fresher Reuters report.

The Taliban could not be immediately be contacted, but spokesmen for the radical Islamist movement have repeatedly said any use of force would jeopardize the lives of the hostages.

Earlier the army had dropped leaflets warning civilians of an assault.

“The national army has dropped leaflets from helicopters telling people in several districts to evacuate their houses because it wants to launch an operation,” said Khowja Seddiqi, district chief of Qarabagh, in Ghazni province.

The Taliban have killed two male hostages after the Afghan government refused to bow to rebel demands to free jailed insurgents.

The defense ministry said earlier that the Afghan National Army had launched an operation in Ghazni, but insisted it was “routine” and was not linked with the kidnapping.


It sounds like the Afghan military bought some media silence time with an appropriate misdirection.

More: Michelle’s weekly column highlights the martyrs that no one seems to care about.

Curiously, those who argue that we need to “understand” Islamic terrorists demonstrate little effort to “understand” the Christian evangelical missionaries who risk their lives to spread the gospel — not by sword, but through acts of compassion, healing and education. An estimated 16,000 Korean mission workers risk their lives across the globe — from Africa to the Middle East, China and North Korea.

These are true practitioners of a religion of peace, not the hate-mongers with bombs and AK-47s strapped to their chests who slay instead of pray their way to martyrdom.

Update: The CBC is also reporting the story, based at least in part on the earlier Reuters reports. The CBC report ends with an interesting note.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai faced criticism when he approved the release of five Taliban prisoners earlier this year to free an Italian journalist held hostage. He subsequently vowed not to repeat such a deal.


Update: Reuters withdraws its report, which tells me that there is no rescue underway.

Please be advised that the Kabul datelined story reporting that an operation to rescue 21 Korean hostages held by the Taliban had begun is wrong. The official cited in the story did not make the comment reported. There will be no substitute story.

“The official cited in the story did not make the comment reported”? How does this happen, Reuters? How do you get a quote that never happened?

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David Strom 3:21 PM on December 01, 2023