May 2nd, 2010
12:27 PM ET

U.N. staff to remain in Kandahar

U.N. and Afghan officials on Sunday reached an agreement that would keep the world body's national and international staff in Kandahar, said Zaimai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the province's governor.

The deal comes a week after the United Nations announced it was pulling 200 of its staff out of the Kandahar area because of the security situation.

The Afghan government has offered more protection of U.N. guest houses and offices, Ayoubi said.

Kandahar is the traditional stronghold of the Taliban, the Islamic militia battling NATO and Afghan government forces, and allied commanders are planning a new push to drive Taliban fighters out of the city.

Violence there has escalated in recent months, with numerous bombings and assassinations of officials, spurring the United Nations to move to pull out its staff. Afghan officials had criticized the U.N. plans, however.

- CNN's Atia Abawi contributed to this report.

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