A local news agency in Pakistan has broadcast what appears to be video of a kidnapped U.N. official shown pleading for his release.
A VOA reporter in Pakistan who saw the video says the agency, Online News Agency, obtained it from a cell phone delivered by the alleged kidnappers of U.N. official John Solecki, a U.S. citizen.
A U.S. official who asked not to be named told VOA that analysts are studying the video and cannot yet verify its authenticity. A previously unknown group, called the Baluchistan Liberation United Front, has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. Militant groups in Baluchistan province have fought for autonomy and a greater share of natural resources.
News agencies, Reuters and Associated Press, reported also receiving copies of a letter in which the group demanded the release within 72 hours of 141 ethnic Baluch women detained by Pakistani authorities.
The group said it would soon issue a list of male prisoners as well.Solecki was abducted in the southwestern city of Quetta nearly two weeks ago as he was traveling to work.