Govt detains suspects over kidnapped U.S. citizen

Pakistan on Tuesday detained several suspects over the kidnapping of a top American UN official in restive Baluchistan province amid an "all-out" effort to track him down. John Solecki, head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in the southwestern city of Quetta, was abducted at gunpoint Monday while travelling to work. His driver was killed. It is the highest-profile Western abduction in Pakistan since US journalist Daniel Pearl was kidnapped in January 2002 and beheaded by Al-Qaeda militants, and underscores the difficulties the country faces in containing violence. Pakistani officials admitted Tuesday they had no clue who snatched Solecki and where he had been taken, given the myriad of criminal gangs, insurgent rebels and Islamist militants known to operate in Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan. "We have picked up several suspects in connection with the probe. These people are detained for questioning, although we still have no direct lead on the kidnapped official," a senior security official told a foreign news agency. "So far there has been no claim of responsibility. We have intensified police patrolling. Security has been intensified along the Afghan border to ensure the official has not slipped through the border into Afghanistan."

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