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UN evacuates its staff from Baghdad
November 04, 2003 09:30 IST
The United Nations has almost evacuated its 22 member staff from Baghdad where the coalition forces are coming under daily attacks.
The evacuated personnel are now in Cyprus where they are expected to review security with experts from the headquarters in New York over the next two week.
Only after the review, the UN will take a decision whether to return them to Baghdad.
The Staff Union has been urging Secretary General Kofi Annan to send them back only after the security situation improves.
Annan had announced withdrawal of the staff after a car bombing of the Red Cross headquarters killed 12 people last week.
A majority of staff was withdrawn after truck bomb attack on the UN Baghdad headquarters on August 19 killed 20 people.
Talking to reporters on Monday, Annan said in principle they should all be out or on their way out. Later officials said all are expected to out of Baghdad and reach Cyprus shortly.
Some 40 international humanitarian staffers are still in northern Iraq that is considered somewhat safer.
Replying to questions, Annan said the United Nations is reviewing security procedure across the globe and taking measures to protect the staff, particularly in 'high vulnerability situations'.