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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.
Jaishul-Muslimeen (Army of Muslims), a newly-emerged Taliban faction, claims to be holding them and has demanded all foreign forces and UN agencies quit Afghanistan and the release of all Taliban prisoners from US custody.
The group offered a fourth deadline of 10am (4.30pm AEDT) on Friday.
"But it depends on the government's response," Mohammad Sharif, who said he was part of Jaishul Muslimeen's 10-member council, told AFP by phone.
"We talked today through telephone and they (government mediators) said they will talk with their bosses, so we are waiting for them to contact us."
Annetta Flanigan called relatives at home in Northern Ireland, while Shqipe Habibi telephoned a friend in Kosovo.
The UN workers were kidnapped with Filipino colleague Angelito Nayan in Kabul on 28 October.
A spokesman for the militants holding the hostages said more talks on their release were scheduled for Tuesday.
A TALIBAN splinter group that has threatened to kill three UN hostages again extended a deadline on its demands after the government said it would respond to them tomorrow, a spokesman for the group said today.
"We have had contact with representatives of the government and the United Nations who said they would respond to the demands tomorrow, Sayed Khalid Agha of the Jaish-e Muslimeen (Army of Muslims)" said.
"So we have extended the deadline until 11am (5.30pm AEDT) tomorrow."