The abductors of three foreign election workers in Afghanistan are delaying their threatened plans to kill their hostages as negotiations continue.

The kidnappers claiming to hold the three election workers said Wednesday they had dropped their noon deadline, and would wait until the evening before deciding whether to execute them.

The abductors' earlier demands included a withdrawal of all United Nations operations in Afghanistan, and the freeing of all Muslim prisoners, both in the country and at the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba.

U.S. military spokesman Major Scott Nelson in Afghanistan said Wednesday he could not discuss efforts to free the hostages because of security reasons.

"This incident is very sensitive right now. The United Nations, the government of Afghanistan, the coalition, ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] are all working together to come to a peaceful resolution on this," said Major Nelson.

The three hostages were taken from their U.N. vehicle at gunpoint last Thursday.