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Deadline For UN Hostages In Afghanistan Elapses

16 November 2004 -- The latest deadline set by Islamic militants in Afghanistan to kill three UN hostages has passed with no word on their fate.

The Jaysh al-Muslimin (Army of Muslims) militants, who captured the three in Kabul on 28 October, had announced a new deadline of sunset today for the government to agree to their demands.

The government said earlier in the day it was hopeful the three -- Philippine diplomat Angelito Nayan, Annetta Flanigan from
Northern Ireland and Shqipe Hebibi of Kosova -- would be released unharmed.

The man claiming to be the head of the militant group, Mohammed Akbar Agha, said the group was divided about what to do.