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KABUL - Two foreigners from the International Red Cross who helped free South Korean captives last month have been kidnapped in Afghanistan after talking with militants about the release of a German hostage, officials said Thursday.
An official with reliable information said the two foreigners from the International Committee of the Red Cross had gone with their two Afghan drivers to Wardak province in central Afghanistan to discuss the release of a German man kidnapped in July.
All four ICRC staff were taken captive Wednesday afternoon, the official said on condition of anonymity.
The two foreigners had helped co-ordinate negotiations and the release of 19 South Korean captives late last month, the official said.
Ewaz Muslimyar, the police chief of Wardak province, confirmed the two foreigners were abducted in Salar district.
The number of kidnappings has spiked this year after the Taliban secured the release of five insurgent prisoners in exchange for a captive Italian journalist in March - a heavily criticized swap many feared would encourage abductions.
The South Korean hostage crisis was another windfall for the Taliban, winning them face-to-face talks with South Korean government delegates.
Militants kidnapped 23 South Koreans July 19 in Ghazni province as they travelled by bus on a dangerous road from Kabul to volatile Kandahar in the south. Two hostages were killed; the rest were released after weeks of negotiations between the Taliban and the Korean delegation.
The talks were held at the ICRC office in Ghazni and ICRC officials drove to pick up the South Koreans after they were released.
The German engineer, Rudolf Blechschmidt, was abducted one day before the Koreans. It is believed he was initially taken by criminals in Wardak, then later handed over to the Taliban.
Blechschmidt is one of two German engineers and five Afghans who were snatched together. The other German was found dead of gunshot wounds July 21, while one of the Afghans managed to escape.
Labels: Taliban negotiate hostage
Under a blazing sun, Shannahn McInnis pushed a stroller with her two-year old daughter who sported a green T-shirt that said, "I run on natural gas.''
McInnis saw the massive Montreal event as a chance to put some pressure on the Harper government. "I'm extremely pessimistic on it doing anything, but I thought I'd come anyway,'' McInnis said.
"I don't think it's at all a priority to any of the parties except the Green Party and the NDP, and they're so far away from being elected. If that's the case, it wouldn't seem to be a priority for the public, either because they're not electing the parties that consider this the priority.''
Sparse crowds in other parts of the country seemed to emphasize the point.
Hull-Aylmer Conservative Party Riding Association
March 20th, 2007
Notice of Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Hull-Aylmer Conservative Party Association will be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 7:30 PM in the Champion Room of the Château Cartier, 1171 Chemin Aylmer. Guests are welcome.
The meeting will feature a presentation to the members and friends by Pierre Poilievre, MP for Nepean-Carleton, Ontario.
For more information, please contact Caroline Beattie at (819) 682-6801 or at firstname.lastname@example.org