U.N. appeals for reporter’s release

From Times Wire Reports

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan appealed to kidnappers to release Italian reporter Daniele Mastrogiacomo and his Afghan driver and interpreter taken captive nearly two weeks ago.

Taliban spokesman Mullah Hayatullah Khan said in a satellite phone interview that they had extended to Monday the deadline to execute Mastrogiacomo to give Rome more time to respond to their demands, but had already executed the driver after finding him guilty of spying.

Mastrogiacomo, a reporter for Italian daily La Repubblica, and his colleagues were kidnapped March 5 in southern Helmand province’s Nad Ali district.