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05 Nov 2009 08:21
The United Nations said on Thursday it would start evacuating hundreds of its international staff from Afghanistan after an attack by Taliban militants last month killed five foreign staff.
UN spokesperson Aleem Siddique said the United Nations would relocate about 600 of its roughly 1 100 international staff in total, with some being moved to safer sites within Afghanistan while the rest would be withdrawn from the country.
“The United Nations has been in Afghanistan for half a century and we are not about to leave now. The Afghan people want us to stay,” Siddique told Reuters.
The figure was less than an earlier report that 900 international staff would be evacuated.
A UN statement emailed to Reuters said it would not make details of the new measures public, adding: “It is expected that they will involve short-term relocations for some staff while additional security is being put in place.”—Reuters
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