UN Evacuates Afghan Staff

Hundreds pulled out after deadly Kabul attack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2009 4:33 AM CST
An Afghan police officer,] looks on as UN staffers leave a guest house with their belongings in Kabul, Afghanistan, last week.   (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
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(Newser) – The United Nations is pulling more than half of its 1,100 international staff in Afghanistan out of the country as the security situation deteriorates. Some of the 600 staffers would return after new security arrangements were made, while others will be permanently relocated, said a spokesman. Much of the UN's work in Afghanistan was suspended after attackers killed five of its staffers in Kabul last week.

The move is a blow to President Obama's counter-insurgency strategy, which calls for increased civilian assistance along with extra troops, notes Reuters. A UN spokesman said the organization was not about to abandon its projects in the country. "The United Nations has been in Afghanistan for half a century and we are not about to leave now," he said. "The Afghan people want us to stay."