Taliban assault UN mine clearing staff in Afghanistan: official
ISLAMABAD, Oct 10 (AFP) - The Taliban was beating up United Nations employees in Afghanistan, a UN spokeswoman said Wednesday.
"The NGOs working with the United Nations Mine Action Program are increasingly being targeted by the Taliban authorities," UN spokeswoman Stephanie Bunker told a press conference here.
"Staff have been beaten in Kabul, in Kandahar and in Jalalabad."
Bunker said the Taliban had also ransacked and looted a UN office in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, breaking down the doors and taking communications equipment.
According to Bunker, the Taliban had also taken a significant number of vehicles belonging to the UN on Wednesday from Kandahar, the militia's southern stronghold.
However she did not know exactly how many vehicles were taken. The assertions of UN staff being assaulted by the Taliban follows the death of four civilians working with mine clearing operation Afghan Technical Consultants when they were killed by a stray a US bomb or missile in Kabul on Monday.
The UN and other aid agencies pulled their foreign workers out of Taliban-held areas amid security concerns following the terrorist strikes in the United States on September 11.
US-led forces began air strikes in Afghanistan on Sunday in retaliation for the Taliban's refusal to hand over alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden.
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