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Rediff.com  » News » Red Cross pulling out of Baghdad, Basra

Red Cross pulling out of Baghdad, Basra

November 08, 2003 19:47 IST

The International Committee of the Red Cross on Saturday said it was pulling out of Baghdad and Basra because of "extremely dangerous" conditions.

"We decided that in view of an extremely dangerous and volatile situation that we would have to temporarily close our offices in Baghdad and Basra," Read Cross spokesperson Florian Westphal said.

"We are... maintaining a presence in the north," he said. "This decision has to be seen in the context that we clearly decided against seeking any military protection for buildings or staff.

"We are still discussing what to do with our foreign staff. Our future activity will focus on visiting prisoners, re-establishing family contacts and providing emergency aid in the areas of water and medicine," Westphal said.

The Switzerland-based agency had reduced its international staff last month after two staff members and 10 others were killed in an October 27 car bomb attack on its Baghdad offices.

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