| GEO World|
| Mother of abducted UN official appeals for public help|
| Updated at: 1709 PST, Saturday, February 21, 2009|
QUETTA: The mother of an American UN official kidnapped nearly three weeks ago here has urged the public to help secure his release, in an audiotaped message released Saturday by the UN.
John Solecki, head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) office in Quetta, was abducted at gunpoint on February 2 while traveling to work. His driver was killed in the ambush.
"My name is Rose Solecki. The UNHCR worker who went missing in Quetta, John
Solecki, is my son. I am appealing to the people of Balochistan for whatever support they can provide to secure my son's safety and freedom," the 83-year old woman said.
"My husband and I spent a wonderful time, meeting his friends in Balochistan," she said on the tape, which was given to a foreign news agency by a local UNHCR official, Baloch Babar, who confirmed that the tape was genuine.
The shadowy Balochistan Liberation United Front (BLUF), which claims to be holding Solecki, has demanded the release of 141 female Baloch detainees they say are in security forcesí custody. The group has also demanded information about 6,000 men "missing" in operations to put down an insurgency in restive Balochistan province, of which Quetta is the capital.