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Kabul to Expel Korean Evangelicals

ICC Note:

Afghan President steps in to stop Korean Christian peace march in Kabul .

AsiaNews/JAD (08/03/06) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered the “complete expulsion” of all Koreans who came to the country to take part in a “peace march” organised by an evangelical organization, South Korea’s foreign ministry announced yesterday.

Lee Joon-kyu, the ministry’s director general in charge of consular affairs, said that Kabul informed the South Korean Embassy of the decision on Tuesday.

A first group of 35 South Koreans who arrived at Kabul airport on Tuesday were stopped and sent home.

A source with the Institute of Asian Culture and Development (IACD), a coalition of some 900 evangelical groups sponsoring the event, claimed a few Koreans were injured when Afghan police wielded metal clubs to subdue them, but a South Korean foreign ministry official quoted a staffer who was present said that was not true.

Choi Han-woo, who heads the IACD, expressed his disappointment because local Afghan authorities and residents were really cooperating.

“The state of law and order in Afghanistan has grown much better in the last four years,” he said.

“Maybe the regional authorities have agreed to the event,” said an anonymous official in Kabul , “but the anti-government terrorist organisations like al-Qaeda and the Taliban have not.”