Article published on the 2009-11-05 Latest update 2009-11-05 14:50 TU
UN special envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide speaks at a 3 November ceremony for two UN victims of the guesthouse attack
The United Nations is to evacuate its non-essential foreign staff from Afghanistan after a Taliban attack on a guesthouse killed five UN workers. Around 600 non-Afghan staff are to be temporarily relocated.
"The only people who will remain are regarded as essential staff. This is to ensure the safety of all our staff in Afghanistan," the spokesman said.
Almost all 600 will leave the country although a small number could be relocated within Afghanistan.
The decision would be reviewed regularly and was expected to be effective for a number of weeks, while additional security is being put in place.
In a statement, the United Nations said it was "fully committed to helping all of Afghanistan's people, as it has been for more than half a century".
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon held talks with security advisors in Kabul earlier this week in the wake of the attack at the Bekhtar guesthouse.
The UN has around 5,600 staff in Afghanistan, most of whom are Afghans, and the relocations will affect around 12 percent of its mission.