The Afghan government has denied the Taliban's claims to have executed two German hostages it was holding, saying that one of them was still alive, while the other had died of a heart attack.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has kidnapped upto 23 South Korean Christians, who came to Afghanistan to preach and provide aid. According to Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, the movement would start executing the South Koreans unless 23 Taliban prisoners were released (BBC).
By kidnapping civilians, the Taliban is making it that much harder for those in the international community who advocate a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan. It seems they are not interested in finding a way out of the conflict, but are instead trying to live off it. This strategy may backfire if Afghan civilians eventually tire of their suicide bombings, kidnappings, and other violations of common decency.