Kidnapped UN Worker Freed In Pakistan

John Solecki was kidnapped more than two months ago near the Afghan border. He was freed Saturday according to a police official.
Solecki was found Saturday evening with his hands and feet bound pleading for help about 30 miles south of Quetta. The kidnappers are reported to have called a local news agency with directions to locate the man.

Solecki was found by Mohammed Anwar, an area restaurant owner.

Agence France-Presse reports:

“I’m very pleased that John Solecki … has been released today. I’m very happy,” said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon soon after the American, who headed the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Quetta, was freed.

Ban expressed his “sincere appreciation” to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Afghan head of state Hamid Karzai and “many other people” for “working tirelessly” to secure Solecki’s release.

Solecki will be reunited with his family as soon as possible. He headed the U.N. refugee agency’s operations in Quetta.

Solecki was taken on February 2. His driver was killed during his abduction. His kidnappers had demanded the release of hundreds of people from alleged detention by the Pakistani security agencies.

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