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Pakistan Identifies Kidnappers of UN Official as Deadline Passes


The Pakistani government said it has identified the kidnappers of American United Nation's official John Solecki.

Foreign Minister Memood Qureshi told reporters Friday authorities have also discovered where Solecki is being held. He did not reveal the identity of the kidnappers but said law enforcement authorities had surrounded the area. He also said the government is proceeding with caution in an effort to safely free Solecki.

A deadline set by the Baluchistan Liberation United Front passed Thursday. The group had threatened to kill Solecki if its demands were not met. The kidnappers are asking for the release of 1,109 people, all ethnic Baluchs, they say are being held by the Pakistani government.

Both the United Nations and Pakistan have repeatedly appealed for Solecki's freedom. The 49-year-old U.N. refugee official was abducted on February 2 by gunmen who ambushed his car in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. His driver was killed.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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