Taliban beat South Korean hostages as punishment for refusing to "convert to Islam"


ANYANG, South Korea, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- A pastor at the South Korean church whose volunteers were held hostage for six weeks by Afghanistan's Taliban said some of the captives were "severely beaten" by the insurgents when they refused to convert to Islam.

The 19 former hostages, freed in stages last week under a deal between the South Korean government and the Taliban, arrived on a flight from Dubai on Sunday morning. Earlier, the Islamic militants had killed two male hostages but freed two females.

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