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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 11:04 GMT
Afghanistan hostages 'split up'
Three people believed to be the UN hostages
The three were helping to organise the presidential poll on 9 October
Militants who say they are holding three UN workers hostage in Afghanistan say they have split them up to make any rescue attempts more difficult.

There are conflicting reports about whether the militants have extended a deadline for a demand to free prisoners from Afghan jails and Guantanamo Bay.

Earlier they said they would kill the hostages if the demands were not met.

Filipino Angelito Nayan, Annetta Flanigan from the UK and Kosovan Shqipe Habibi were seized in Kabul last week.

A group calling itself the Army of Muslims say they carried out the abductions.

Arrests

The hostages "are not in one location, they are in three different locations," the AFP news agency quoted a spokesman for the group, Akbar Agha, as saying.

The group says if the security forces find one of the hostages, the other two would be killed.

There has been no independent confirmation that the hostages have been separated.

The authorities in Kabul say they are still keeping an open mind as to who is behind the kidnappings.

The three hostages appeared unharmed in a video shown by Arabic TV on Sunday.

The UN in Kabul, confirming that the footage did show the UN workers, has appealed for their release, saying they all needed medical attention.

Afghan authorities arrested several people on Friday and Saturday they believe are linked to the kidnapping.



FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Reuters UK Afghan kidnappers say in talks with U.N - 1 hr ago
Los Angeles TimesKidnappers May Meet U.N. Envoy - 1 hr ago
The Scotsman Afghan group holding Briton offers to negotiate - 8 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited 31.10.04: Afghan militants vow to 'chop up' Irish hostage - 9 hrs ago
MSNBC Afghan kidnappers agree to negotiate - 15 hrs ago
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