A purported Taliban spokesman has claimed that the group killed a second South Korean hostage because the Afghan government failed to release imprisoned insurgents. Afghan officials said they did not find a body and thus could not confirm the claim.
The Al-Jazeera television network, meanwhile, showed footage that it said was seven female hostages in Afghanistan.
Spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said Monday 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."