updated 3/1/2009 2:02:39 PM ET 2009-03-01T19:02:39

A suspected separatist group holding an American U.N. worker in Pakistan said it will kill him in four days if its demands are not met.

The threat on the life of John Solecki was made in a letter sent Sunday to local news agency Online International News Network. An Associated Press reporter read the letter.

A U.N. spokeswoman says the world body was aware of the threat through the media and "took it seriously."

Gunmen seized Solecki on Feb. 2 after shooting his driver to death as they drove to work in the southwestern city of Quetta.

The previously unknown Baluchistan Liberation United Front claimed responsibility.

In the letter, the group calls on the government to free more than 1,000 people it claims have been arrested in the region.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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