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Reports:  Deadline For Killing US Journalist Extended - 2002-01-31

The kidnappers of an American journalist in Pakistan have extended their deadline for killing him until Friday as the United States rules out negotiations over the captors' demands.

In an e-mail sent to news organizations Thursday, the kidnappers extended the deadline by one-day for the United States to meet their demands, including the release of Pakistani detainees captured in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell rejected any negotiation with the terrorists holding Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

The extension came hours after The Wall Street Journal issued a second appeal for the kidnappers to spare Mr. Pearl's life. He was kidnapped last week in Karachi while preparing to interview the head of a Muslim militant organization.

In its appeal, The Wall Street Journal says if the reporter is killed, he will not be able to tell the story as the kidnappers related it to him. So, the paper says, he should be released immediately.

Wednesday, the captors sent an e-mail to news organizations saying Mr. Pearl is an Israeli spy. Authorities believe the e-mails are authentic because they include pictures of Mr. Pearl shackled with a gun held to his head.

The captors have also warned all American journalists to leave Pakistan by Saturday, saying there are many spies in Pakistan working under the guise of reporters.

The State Department is urging Americans in Pakistan to continue exercising extreme caution.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani government spokesman says there is an Indian link to the kidnapping. But the spokesman declined to elaborate, saying that the matter is under investigation.

Earlier, Pakistani police said a nationwide manhunt was underway to find Mr. Pearl. The police say they are also questioning a Muslim cleric arrested Wednesday in connection with the kidnapping. The cleric, Mubarak Ali Gilani, is said to have links to the al-Qaida terrorist network.