UN pulls international staff out of Afghan base

The UN pulled its international staff out of their base in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz.

Kabul: The UN pulled its international staff
out of their base in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz on Monday after it came under attack by demonstrators protesting
the burning of the Quran.

The staff will be relocated within Afghanistan, the United
Nations mission in Afghanistan said in a statement.

The UN added that it would "put in place additional
arrangements and measures to make sure that the office can
continue to operate in safety."

The move came after NATO`s International Security
Assistance Force pulled its staff out of Afghan ministries at
the weekend when two US advisers were shot dead in the
interior ministry, apparently by an Afghan colleague.

Four demonstrators were killed in the attack on the UN
compound on Saturday, as enraged Afghans took to the streets
across the country to protest the Koran burning at the US
airbase at Bagram near Kabul.

"The UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in
Afghanistan) office in Kunduz will continue to deliver the
critical programmes in the region for the people who need them
the most," the UN statement said.

"UNAMA wants to reiterate that the organisation is
standing by the people of Afghanistan and will continue to
stand as long as the people of Afghanistan want them."

US President Barack Obama apologised for the Koran
burning, but analysts say the incident has plunged relations
between Afghans and the US-led NATO force fighting a Taliban
insurgency to an all-time low.

A Taliban suicide car bomber targeting NATO troops at an
airport in eastern Afghanistan killed nine people on Monday,
taking the death toll from unrest and protests to about 40.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has appealed for calm.


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