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Second Plane With UN Staff Members Arrives In Kazakhstan From Afghanistan

A spokesman for the UN said on August 23 that 120 more people had arrived at Almaty airport from Afghanistan. (file photo)

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A second plane with UN staff members aboard has arrived in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, from Afghanistan for temporary relocation amid instability in Kabul after Taliban militants took control of the city.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on August 23 that among the 120 passengers brought to Kazakhstan, there were members of several Afghan nongovernmental organizations who cooperated with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and other UN agencies accredited in the war-torn country.

The UN began to temporarily relocate some people from its agencies to Almaty last week. Another Kazakh military plane brought the first group of 141 UNAMA staff members to Almaty from Kabul on August 18.

UNAMA chief Deborah Lyons said at the time that 60 of her team members will remain in Kazakhstan to remotely coordinate the group’s activities in Afghanistan.

The Taliban has pledged to protect diplomatic staff and UN personnel as part of a broader public relations bid to reshape its image and avoid international isolation.

The UN and its agencies have about 3,000 Afghan employees, in addition to international staff.