The United Nations has repeated its call for the safe release of three U.N. election workers who were kidnapped three weeks ago in Afghanistan.

A U.N. spokesman said Thursday in Kabul that the hostages' friends, families and colleagues want them back.

There is no word on the condition of the three hostages: two women from Northern Ireland and Kosovo and a Philippine man - after the latest deadline set by their alleged abductors passed on Tuesday.

An Islamic militant group calling itself the Army of Muslims has extended a number of previous deadlines for demands to be met -- including the release of Taleban prisoners.