Monday, July 30, 2007

Two Korean Aid workers executed

Two South Korean aid workers have been executed.

The 2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan began on July 19, 2007, when 23 South Korean missionaries were captured and held hostage by members of the Taliban while passing through Ghazni Province of Afghanistan. Two male hostages were executed before the deal was reached between the Taliban and the South Korean government. The group, composed of sixteen women and seven men, was captured while traveling from Kandahar to Kabul by bus on a mission sponsored by the Saemmul Presbyterian Church.

The crisis began when two local men, who the driver had allowed to board, started shooting to bring the bus to a halt. Over the next month, the hostages were kept in cellars and farmhouses and regularly moved in groups of three to four.

Of the 23 hostages captured, two men, Bae Hyeong-gyu, a 42-year-old South Korean pastor of Saemmul Church, and Shim Seong-min, a 29-year-old South Korean man, were executed on July 25 and July 30, respectively. Later, with negotiations making progress, two women, Kim Gyeong-ja and Kim Ji-na, were released on August 13 and the remaining 19 hostages on August 29 and August 30.

L: Bae Hyeong-gyu. C: Korean Hostage group. R: Shim Seong-min
The release of the hostages was secured with a South Korean promise to withdraw its 200 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2007. Although the South Korean government offered no statement, a Taliban spokesman claimed that the militant group also received some US$20 million in exchange for the safety of the captured missionaries.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

French para, Pascal Correia, killed in RPG attack

On the night of July 24-25, 2007 Pascal Correia was supporting the Afghan National Army in Wardak province. He was fatally wounded when struck by shrapnel from rockets fired by insurgents.

Born on May 9, 1967 in Haute-Saone, Pascal entered the French Military, joining the 1st Parachute Regiment in December 1985 when he was 18 years old.

He made Master Corporal in 1986 and Sergeant the following year.

Pascal Correia

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Norwegian officer, Lt. Tor Arne Lau-Henriksen

Lt. Tor Arne Lau-Henriksen
Norwegian officer, Lieutenant Tor Arne Lau-Henriksen, aged 33, was killed in action on 23rd July 2007.

He joined Hærens Jegerkommando (Army Ranger Commando) before he went to Afghanistan. During a mission there, Lau-Henriksen was killed by insurgents. 

He and other Norwegian soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission together with soldiers from the Afghan National Army, when they were attacked by Taliban members dressed as civilians. 

Lau-Henriksen was shot in the chest and became the first soldier from Hærens Jegerkommando to be KIA in Afghanistan. He was posthumously awarded the Military Cross.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

German engineer, Ruediger Diedrich

Name: Ruediger Diedrich
Age: 43
Nationality: German
Location: Wardak province, Afghanistan
Date: 21 July 2007
Cause: Kidnapped by Taliban and murdered

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Dutch Army Lieutenant Tom Krist

Dutch Army officer, Lieutenant Tom Krist, aged 24, died 10th July 2007 from serious head injuries received from the blast of a suicide bomber days earlier in Afghanistan. 

Lt. Krist had been evacuated first to a military field hospital in Afghanistan, and then to a hospital in Utrecht, where he sadly died.
Lt. Krist served with the 42nd Infantry Battalion.