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UN Urged Not To Leave Southern Afghan City

Ahmad Wali Karzai said the UN was overreacting by withdrawing its staff.
The head of Kandahar's provincial council has urged the international aid community not to pull out of the troubled southern city.

A deteriorating security situation in Kandahar ahead of a major military offensive has prompted the United Nations to temporarily withdrawn foreign staff from its mission in the city.

But Ahmad Wali Karzai, the half-brother of President Hamid Karzai, said today the United Nations was overreacting by withdrawing its staff.

"They didn't consult with anyone. The governor doesn't know; the provincial shura [assembly] doesn't know; and we are not happy with that," Karzai said.

"We hope that they return back to their offices and open their offices and continue their humanitarian assistance. I personally believe the security situation is not that bad that they should leave Kandahar."

The UN said on April 26 that it had relocated some foreign staff to Kabul and that Afghan staff there had been told to stay home, after several bombings shook the city.

Over the past few weeks, there has been a surge in attacks in Kandahar, with insurgents carrying out several major suicide bombings and a deputy mayor gunned down this week.

compiled from agency reports