A local news agency in Pakistan has broadcast what appears to be video of a kidnapped U.N. official pleading for his release.
and U.N. officials have not confirmed the authenticity of the video, or
whether the man in it is John Solecki, a U.N. employee and U.S. citizen
kidnapped in Quetta on February 2.
The brief, low-resolution
video clip shows a blindfolded man addressing the United Nations and
saying he is "sick and in trouble."
A VOA reporter in Pakistan
who saw the video says it was sent to the Online News Agency on a
cellphone memory card, along with a letter demanding the release within
72 hours of 141 ethnic Baluch women who the kidnappers say are being
detained by Pakistani authorities.
A previously unknown group
calling itself the Baluchistan Liberation United Front has claimed
responsibility for the kidnapping of Solecki.
The group said it would soon issue a list of male prisoners as well.
A U.S. official who asked not to be named told VOA that analysts are studying the video and cannot yet verify its authenticity.
an official with the U.N. refugee agency, was abducted in the
southwestern city of Quetta nearly two weeks ago as he was traveling to
Officials say his driver was wounded in the attack and later died.
the video, the blindfolded man says he is ill and appeals for help to
"solve the problems" to secure his release. He did not specify what
problems he is referring to.
Attacks on foreign workers in Pakistan have increased in recent months.
week, Taliban militants released a video showing the killing of a
Polish engineer, Piotr Stanczak, abducted last September from Punjab
province. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry released a statement Friday,
condemning what it called a heinous crime and brutal act of terrorism.
Pakistani government also extended its "deepest sympathies" to Poland
and said it was determined to bring the perpetrators of the crime to
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.