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29 July 2004 -- The United Nations says it regrets the decision by the Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) aid agency to leave Afghanistan due to security fears.

UN spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said the UN understands the group's decision, but he also urged aid groups to maintain dialogue with the U.S. military after the group said that U.S. forces were using humanitarian aid to advance their strategic interests in Afghanistan.

Doctors Without Borders announced yesterday it was pulling out of Afghanistan after 24 years in the country because of safety fears after five of its staff members were killed in June.

The group accused the Afghan government of not doing enough to capture those responsible for the slayings.

Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai earlier said he regrets the decision by Doctors Without Borders to pull out of his country.

(AP/Reuters/AFP)
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