April 26th, 2010
11:17 AM ET

U.N. keeps Kandahar staffers home after 'threats'

KABUL, Afghanistan — Unspecified "threats" have forced the United Nations in Afghanistan's second biggest city to order its local staff to stay home until further notice.

The order involves more than 200 Afghan employees in Kandahar. Several foreign staffers have been moved to the capital, Kabul.

The action follows what a U.N. source said were "threats against the U.N. operation in Kandahar."

In recent months, violence in the city has escalated, with numerous bombings and assassinations of officials. The uptick comes as U.S. and NATO forces continue operations against the Taliban in Kandahar and surrounding districts.

U.N. spokeswoman Susan Manuel said the order to staff was due to "a combination of what's been happening in Kandahar lately, as well as information about potential threats to U.N. facilities and staff."

"The result of a security assessment was that it was important to make this move," she said.

A U.N. source later said the assessment came after "specific chatter" about possible attacks.

It's the first time U.N. staff have been moved or ordered to stay home since a deadly attack on a U.N. guesthouse in Kabul in November last year.

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Filed under: Kandahar • Taliban
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