[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Taliban extend hostage deadline
UN issues appeal for Italian journalist's release.
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2007 20:25 GMT
Mastrogiacomo appeared in a
video released last week [AFP]
The Taliban have extended its deadline to kill a kidnapped Italian journalist by three days to Monday to give Rome more time to respond to the group's demands.
 
Mullah Hayatullah Khan, a Taliban spokesman, said: "We are extending the deadline for three days from Friday.

"We will wait for the response in regard to our demands."
Khan said there had been "contacts" for Daniele Mastrogiacomo's release, but did not elaborate.
 
On Friday, the Taliban killed one of the two Afghans seized alongside Mastrogiacomo, saying "he was confirmed to be a spy for foreign military forces".
On Saturday, the UN mission in Kabul appealed to the abductors to "show their humanity" by releasing him and his colleagues.
 
"Mr Mastrogiacomo is a well-known journalist whose sympathies for the people of Afghanistan should be beyond doubt to anyone," a UN spokesman said in a statement.
 
The La Repubblica reporter and his two colleagues were seized in the southern province of Helmand and the Taliban claimed that he had confessed to spying for British troops.
 
Contact made
 
Massimo d'Alema, the Italian foreign minister, asked on Friday for more time to negotiate Mastrogiacomo's release.
 
"The complex affair ... needs time," he said.
 
D'Alema denied that the Italian government was negotiating with the Taliban, but said that contact had taken place via "humanitarian sources".
 
"Even the other side has perceived that an initiative is under way to find a solution," D'Alema said, without naming the Taliban.

"I want the other side to understand that the situation needs a  reasonable time to develop and obtain the desired results."
 
The Taliban had said that the Italian and his Afghani translator would be released if the Kabul government agreed to release three Taliban prisoners.
 
Mastrogiacomo appeared in a video, released on Wednesday, appealing to the Italian government to work for his release.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list