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Confusion Over Afghan UN Hostages

17 November 2004 -- Afghanistan's Interior Ministry believes three UN workers abducted nearly three weeks ago in Afghanistan are probably still being held in the area.

But ministry spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said they are probably being held by "armed robbers" and not by a Taliban splinter group.

That group, Jaysh al-Muslimin, has demanded the release of Taliban prisoners in return for the hostages. The group, however, has gradually relaxed its demands and repeated deadlines have passed without apparent incident.