The Taleban in Afghanistan has set a new deadline of noon local time (0730 UTC) Wednesday for the release of prisoners in exchange for freeing 21 remaining South Korean hostages.
The kidnappers set the latest of many deadlines a day after they killed a second captive, who a Korean official identified as 29-year-old Shim Sung-min.
His body was found today in Ghazni province, about 30 km (50 miles) from where 23 South Korean Christian church members were abducted July 19. A South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman, Cho Hee-yung called the second hostage murder a merciless killing.
A Taleban spokesman has warned that more hostages would die unless the Afghan government releases imprisoned Taleban militants.
A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Humayun Hamidzada said the government should not agree to the Taleban's demands. He said releasing prisoners would only lead to more kidnappings.