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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 November, 2004, 17:50 GMT
Kabul kidnappers list demands
By Roland Buerk
BBC News, Kabul

Three people believed to be the UN hostages
The three had been helping with October's presidential election
Militants who say they are holding three foreign United Nations workers in Afghanistan say they have handed over a list of prisoners they want released.

Annetta Flanigan from Northern Ireland, Filipino Angelito Nayan and Kosovan Shqipe Habibi were seized in Kabul 10 days ago.

A man claiming to be a spokesman for the kidnappers said they had held talks with government negotiators on Sunday.

The UN and Afghanistan's government are refusing to confirm the reports.

The militants, who call themselves the Army of Muslims, have given the government two days to find and release the prisoners, according to a man who called journalists, claiming to speak for the kidnappers.

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The spokesmen said the Army of Muslims had handed over a list of 26 names during a face to face meeting.

He added that they agreed to meet again on Tuesday, and until then the hostages' lives are not in danger.

The Army of Muslims (Jaish-al Muslimeen) says it was behind the kidnapping in broad daylight in a Kabul street on 28 October.

A video was sent to the BBC and other broadcasters showing the three hostages slumped against a wall.

Deadline for demands

The group, which is believed to be a breakaway faction of the Taleban, issued a series of conditions for the hostages' freedom, including that foreign troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan.

Since then a series of deadlines for the demands to be met have been set and passed.

In his call, the man who claims to be a spokesman for the group, said he was optimistic agreement could be reached.

And earlier, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai said he was hopeful the hostages would be freed unharmed.


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