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UN official kidnapped in Pak located: Minister

world Updated: Mar 06, 2009 13:28 IST

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The location of abducted UN official John Solecki has been found and "he would be recovered very soon", Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said.

John Solecki, the head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan, was kidnapped by gunmen from provincial capital Quetta Feb 2.

The foreign minister said that kidnappers of the senior UN official have been identified and government agencies have surrounded the area where Solecki is being kept, Dawn reported on Friday.

The government was avoiding taking steps for his recovery in a haphazard manner which could pose harm to his life, the report said.

The Balochistan Liberation United Front (BLUF) last month claimed it was responsible for Solecki's abduction.

It threatened to kill the official unless over 1,100 people on a list of prisoners' it provided were freed.

The provincial government said in a statement Thursday that it was looking into the demands.

"We have set up a high-level committee, including high-ranking officials and politicians, to locate the whereabouts of the alleged missing persons listed by BLUF," the report quoted Qureshi as saying.

"Forty-five people have been traced and their location confirmed out of the list of 1,109 people allegedly missing. Some of these people are at their houses and some are in judicial custody facing a variety of criminal charges," he added.