Afghan captors drop ransom demands

A spokesman for an Afghan armed group that says it is holding three UN workers hostage, has said talks are under way for their release and his group has dropped some of its demands.

    The captives were abducted at gunpoint on 28 October

    Mulla Sabir Mumin, one of several men claiming to speak for Jaish-e Muslimin (Army of Muslims), said on Sunday the talks with UN and government negotiators were taking place by telephone. 

    "We have backed away from some of our demands," he told reporters, without elaborating. "Our talks are going on directly and over the phone. We are hopeful of a successful end." 

    The kidnappers have threatened to kill Filipino Angelito Nayan, Annetta Flanigan from Northern Ireland and Kosovan woman Shqipe Hebibi unless their demands - including the release of Taliban prisoners, the withdrawal of US troops and the suspension of UN operations in the country - are met. 

    Relative's appeal

    Meanwhile, a relative of one of the hostages has made a televised appeal for her release, saying she is a Muslim who came to help Afghanistan. 

    "Please take care of Shqipe Hebibi, you know that she is a Muslim, she comes from a poor family, she comes from a poor country"

    Pakdi Behgjet,
    Relative of Shqipe Hebibi

    Pakdi Behgjet made the appeal on behalf of Kosovar hostage Shqipe Hebibi on the private Afghan television channel, Toloo.

    "Shqipe Hebibi went to Afghanistan to help our brother people here," he said. "Please release her, we are waiting every day.

    "Please take care of Shqipe Hebibi, you know that she is a Muslim, she comes from a poor family, she comes from a poor country," he said. Behgjet was described only as a relative of Hebibi.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?