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Taliban say they killed two Germans, fears for 18 SKoreans

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KANDAHAR (AFP) - Afghanistan's Taliban said it had killed two German hostages Saturday, as South Korea's president urged the militant group to free 18 of his nationals also abducted this week.

The Islamist rebels have demanded that both countries pull their troops out of the war-torn country where the Germans serve under NATO and the Koreas under US-led command, a spokesman said.

Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi, speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, also said the group welcomed South Korea's decision to pull its troops out of the country by the end of the year, a previously planned withdrawal reiterated in Seoul Saturday.

"We'll decide the fate of the South Koreans later," he said. "But we welcome their government's decision to pull out of our country. I hope their (hostage) problem is solved peacefully."

Earlier in the morning, the Taliban spokesman issued two tight deadlines, threatening the killings of the Germans if the group received no calls from the governments in Berlin or Kabul.

He later announced the killings, which could not be independently verified.

vuukle comment

COUNTRY

GROUP

ISLAMIST

KABUL

PULL

SEOUL SATURDAY

SOUTH KOREA

SOUTH KOREANS

TALIBAN

YOUSUF AHMADI

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