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UN Moves Some Staff Out Of Kandahar


A UN vehicle in the Afghan capital, Kabul
The United Nations has moved some staff members out of Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar and asked local staff to stay home due to the deteriorating security situation.

But the UN said there were no plans to pull its staff out of Afghanistan.

The head of Kandahar's provincial council, President Hamid Karzai's half-brother Ahmad Wali Karzai, accused the UN of overreacting.

The security situation in Kandahar, a traditional stronghold of the hard-line Taliban, has been worsening in recent weeks amid reports that U.S. and NATO forces are preparing a major offensive there.

UN spokeswoman Susan Manuel said some foreign staff in the Kandahar office had been moved to the capital, Kabul, for their safety, while Afghan staff there had been told to stay home.

She would not say how many international staff had been withdrawn and how many had stayed behind.

Two roadside bombs struck a convoy of Afghan police in Kandahar on April 26, killing two pedestrians and wounding another.

The Taliban has increased its attacks in Kandahar as word has spread of the international forces' planned operation.

compiled from Reuters and other agency reports