Taliban Wants France To Arrange Detainee Swap

The Taliban demanded Monday that the French government push the U.S. and Afghan governments to release detainees in exchange for two French journalists kidnapped in December in Afghanistan. In a statement sent by e-mail to news organizations, the Taliban said they submitted a list of “most ordinary detainees” — meaning not senior figures — to the French government and if it doesn't respond quickly the lives of the two hostages would be in danger. It added that the French government should put pressure on the U.S. and the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai to meet the Taliban demands. Detainees in Afghanistan are held either by the Afghan government or the Americans. A similar demand was made in a video posted late Sunday on a militant Web site, according to the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors extremist communications.