There are some days when the news is not just good, it's excellent. Today is one of those days.
Agence France Presse reported today that the mastermind behind the kidnapping of 23 South Korean Christian missionaries in Afghanistan was killed by coalition forces.
Security forces killed a Taliban commander involved in the July kidnapping of 23 South Koreans, officials said Tuesday, as around 40 other rebels were reported killed in fresh fighting.
The commander, Mullah Mateen, and 15 other insurgents died in an Afghan and US-led coalition operation that started late Monday in the central province of Ghazni and lasted several hours, they said.
Mateen was a "key person" in the abduction of the group of Christian aid workers, two of whom were killed before the remainder were freed late last week, Ghazni police chief Alishah Ahmadzai said.
"We are sure that Mullah Mateen is dead and I'm sure and everyone knows that he was behind the kidnapping of the South Koreans," he told AFP.
Of the 23 hostages, two were killed, two released early, and the remaining 19 were released after South Korea reportedly gave in to the kidnappers' demands. As reported Sunday in the Observer (UK), South Korea denies the Taliban's claims that $20 million ransom was paid.
An official, who declined to be named, from South Korea's presidential Blue House denied that it made a payment, saying yesterday: 'The two conditions for the release are that we pull out our troops and stop Korean missionary work in Afghanistan by the end of the year.'
It's a shame that South Korea gave the Taliban what it wanted, whether that included money or not. Terrorists should not be encouraged or rewarded for their crimes. And it's also a shame that the freed hostages felt the need to apologize for having been kidnapped.
But in spite of all tha, it feels good to see justice done to the Taliban leader who hatched this plot. The more of them we kill, the fewer there will be to plan more attacks.