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TALIBAN CLAIMS IT KILLED SECOND S. KOREAN HOSTAGE

A purported Taliban spokesman claimed the hard-line militia killed a second South Korean hostage Monday because the Afghan government failed to release imprisoned insurgents. Afghan officials said they hadn't recovered a body and couldn't confirm the claim.

Al-Jazeera television network, meanwhile, showed footage that it said was of seven female hostages in Afghanistan.

Militant spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said senior Taliban leaders decided to kill the male captive because the government had not met Taliban demands to trade prisoners for the Christian volunteers, who were in their 12th day of captivity.

"The Kabul and Korean governments are lying and cheating. They did not meet their promise of releasing Taliban prisoners," Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the Taliban, said by phone from an undisclosed location. "The Taliban warns the government if the Afghan government won't release Taliban prisoners then at any time the Taliban could kill another Korean hostage."

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