Separatist rebels holding six European and eight Indonesian hostages asked the military Saturday to delay a planned attack to end the standoff, the official Antara news agency said.
Quoting an unidentified military source, Antara said the request for a one-day delay was apparently accepted.
The rebel plea came a day after the military said it would attack the guerrillas’ jungle hideout in southeastern Indonesia if the hostages were not freed by today.
There were also reports that three Roman Catholic priests, sent by the military to negotiate, were close to reaching a settlement with rebels.
The Free Papua Movement rebels have threatened to kill all the hostages if the military uses force. They were demanding demanding autonomy for the region, the remote Irian Jaya province about 2,200 miles northeast of Jakarta.