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UN Again Appeals for Release of UN Official in Pakistan

The United Nations has again urged the kidnappers of a U.N. refugee official in Pakistan to release him immediately without harm.

The world body said in a statement Friday it is concerned about the health of American citizen John Solecki, saying he has a serious medical condition that may be endangering his life.

It called on those holding Solecki to contact U.N. officials directly or through an intermediary so the situation can be resolved peacefully.

Solecki, the head of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) in Quetta, Pakistan, was abducted two weeks ago, February 2, in southwestern Baluchistan province.

A previously unknown group, the Baluchistan Liberation United Front, has threatened to kill Solecki if Pakistan's government does not release Baluch prisoners. On Monday, the group extended a 72-hour deadline it had given for its demands to be met.

Last week, the kidnappers released a video tape of a blindfolded man, who they identified as Solecki, pleading for his release.