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Pak offers reward for kidnapped American

world Updated: Feb 05, 2009 11:55 IST
AFP
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Pakistani authorities on Wednesday announced a reward of US$ 12,610 for information leading to the rescue of a kidnapped UN American official, police said.

John Solecki, head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in the city of Quetta was snatched at gunpoint and his driver killed on Monday.

"Anyone who provides information to police leading to safe recovery of John Solecki will be awarded one million rupees and his name will be kept secret," the head of the police investigation Wazir Khan Nasir told AFP.

"Those who help police will be provided full protection," he said.

Quetta, which has an estimated population of just under one million, is considered a possible refuge for Taliban leaders who fled after US-led troops invaded Afghanistan in late 2001 and toppled the hardline regime.

Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is rife with provincial insurgency, sectarian violence and attacks blamed on Islamist extremists, leaving the authorities unclear on who was behind the assault.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was due in Islamabad late today for his first visit to Pakistan since taking office. He has called for Solecki's "immediate and safe release", UN deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe told reporters in New York.

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