Taliban Told Hostages to Convert or Die

Freed Koreans describe harrowing 6-week Afghanistan ordeal
By Josie Garthwaite,  Newser User
Posted Sep 12, 2007 5:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – South Korean aid workers held captive by Taliban militants in Afghanistan recounted being urged at gunpoint to convert to Islam during at a news conference in Seoul today, the BBC reports. They were often beaten and forced to work "like slaves" during a six-week ordeal, which ended last month and left two of the 23 hostages dead.

Two of the hostages described the militants trying to force conversion. "We were beaten with a tree branch or kicked around," one said. "All 23 of us leaned against a wall and armed Taliban aimed their guns at us, and a pit was before me," another recalled. "They said they will save us if we believe in Islam."