So you want to negotiate with the Taliban?
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