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Afghan Militants Say Talks Over UN Hostages to Begin Sunday


A spokesman for Afghan militants who have threatened to kill three U.N. workers they hold hostage say talks with negotiators from the Kabul government and the United Nations will begin on Sunday.

The spokesman for a Taleban splinter group called the "Army of Muslims" said the negotiators arrived Saturday at an agreed meeting point -- a yet undisclosed location.

The statement contradicts earlier reports that the talks had already begun.

The militants kidnapped the three U.N. election workers -- two women from Northern Ireland and Kosovo and a Philippine man -- late last month. They had threatened to kill them late Saturday unless all Taleban prisoners in U.S. custody are released.

The kidnappers say they want all foreign troops and U.N. personnel to leave Afghanistan.

One of the hostages is said to have fallen seriously ill since they were abducted.