The Kosovo Albanian family of one of three UN workers being held hostage in Afghanistan has said she has telephoned a friend in her hometown of Pec.

Agim Habibi said his sister Shqipe claimed she was in good health and was not being maltreated by her kidnappers.

The three hostages, including the Co Armagh woman, Annetta Flanigan, were abducted in western Kabul ten days ago.

Yesterday, the kidnappers scaled back their demands and offered to exchange their captives if the Afghan government releases 26 Taliban prisoners by tomorrow.