Source: STLtoday/Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan — President Hamid Karzai declared Sunday that the abduction of 22 South Korean church workers by Taliban militants was an un-Islamic act that brought disgrace on Afghanistan.
Karzai issued his statement, his first since the hostage crisis began, after meeting with Baek Jong-chun, a special envoy sent by South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun.
Eighteen of the captives are women, and Karzai said their abduction was a particularly heinous act.
"Hostage taking and abuse of foreign guests, especially women, is against Islam and the Afghan culture," Karzai's office quoted him as telling the South Korean envoy. "The perpetration of this heinous act on our soil is in total contempt of our Islamic and Afghan values."
Similar sentiments were voiced Sunday by Afghanistan's national council of clerics.