kidnapped a top American UN official and killed his driver in Pakistan Monday, in the most high-profile recent Western abduction in a country struggling to contain extremist violence.
John Solecki, head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in the southwestern city of , was snatched at gunpoint while travelling to work in the capital of Baluchistan province, which borders and Iran.
Quetta, which has an estimated population of just under one million, is considered a possible refuge for Taliban leaders who fled Afghanistan after the US-led invasion in late 2001 that toppled the hardline regime.
Gunmen ambushed Solecki’s vehicle, which was marked with United Nations insignia, and opened fire, wounding the driver who later died of his injuries, UN officials and police said.
Local police official Khalid Masood told AFP that Solecki was an American national and “head of the sub-office of UNHCR-Quetta.”
John Solecki, head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),seen here on March 15, 2008, in the southwestern city of Quetta carries kites during a kite show for Afghan refugees arrange by UNHCR in Quetta. Gunmen kidnapped Solecki and killed his driver in Pakistan Monday, in the most high-profile recent Western abduction in a country struggling to contain extremist violence.(AFP/File/Banaras Khan)