Taliban fighters on Wednesday released 12 of 19 South Korean captives they promised to free under a deal struck with the South Korean government to resolve a hostage crisis that began almost six weeks ago. The hostages were released into the care of officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross at three separate locations in central Afghanistan close to the city of Ghazni, an Associated Press reporter who witnessed the handovers said. The first group of three women was released in the village of Qala-e-Kazi. Several hours later, four women and one man were released in a desert close to Shah Baz. As dusk approached, four more hostages were freed on a main road around 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Ghazni, the reporter said.