A purported Taliban spokesman said the militants' deadline for the lives of 22 South Korean hostages had been extended three hours into late Monday afternoon, but that if militant prisoners weren't released by then some of the captives would be killed.
The spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said Taliban commanders extended the deadline three hours until 4 p.m. (1130 GMT) because a delegation of Afghan officials had requested more time for negotiations. The Taliban want 23 prisoners released from Afghan jails.
"If the government doesn't start to release the prisoners then, we're going to start killing the hostages," Ahmadi told The Associated Press by satellite phone.
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