UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned "in the strongest terms" the murder of a U.N. worker in Quetta and joined the world body's top refugee official in calling for the immediate release of another staff member abducted in the same attack. Unidentified gunmen shot Syed Hashim and kidnapped John Solecki, an American national, both of whom worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as they drove to the agency's office in Quetta. Hashim, who was driving the vehicle and had worked for UNHCR for some 18 years, died after being rushed to hospital, while Mr. Solecki, who has headed the agency's sub-office in Quetta for two years, was apparently snatched from the car. "The Secretary-General was deeply distressed to learn about the attack on two UN High Commissioner for Refugees workers today," Ban's spokesperson said in a statement. "Such acts are aimed, not only against UN personnel, but also against those they serve selflessly and with dedication," the statement added. The Secretary-General also expressed his deepest condolences to the family of Hashim and called for the immediate and safe release of Solecki. In a separate statement, the UN's refugee chief expressed "deep shock and sadness" over the attack in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and is the scene of a regional insurgency and sectarian violence. "UNHCR's mission in more than 110 countries around the world, including in Pakistan, is aimed solely at easing the plight of refugees, displaced people and innocent civilians in a totally impartial and humanitarian manner," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antnio Guterres. "The targeting of those who help the world's most vulnerable people leaves all of us deeply shocked and saddened," he added.