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UN scales back operation in Pakistan's Baluchistan

An injured Pakistani police officer crawls towards an armored vehicle in the compound of a police training school on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, March 30, 2009. Pakistani soldiers and other security forces laid siege Monday to the police academy that heavily armed gunmen attacked earlier, killing 11 officers and taking others hostage in a brazen assault that underscored the growing threat militancy poses to the U.S.-allied, nuclear-armed country. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

An injured Pakistani police officer crawls towards an armored vehicle in the compound of a police training school on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, March 30, 2009. Pakistani soldiers and other security forces laid siege Monday to the police academy that heavily armed gunmen attacked earlier, killing 11 officers and taking others hostage in a brazen assault that underscored the growing threat militancy poses to the U.S.-allied, nuclear-armed country. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

ISLAMABAD (AP) - The United Nations has scaled back its operations in Pakistan's restive Baluchistan province in the face of threats.

Baluch separatists have been waging a low-level insurgency in the impoverished but oil-rich southwest of Pakistan for decades. But the insurgency had not been known to target foreigners until this year. A group kidnapped the head of the U.N. refugee agency's operations in the region, John Solecki, and held him for two months.

On Sunday, the same group issued a statement threatening the U.N. A spokesman said the group would target U.N. officials because, he said, promises made for Solecki's release had not been kept.

He told the news agency that Solecki had been released on the understanding that the U.N. would take notice of what he called the suppression of and atrocities against the Baluch people, but that nothing had been done since then.

The U.N. would not comment on Solecki's release and whether there had been any conditions.


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