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VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-317844 Afghan Attack (L)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=7/28/2004

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE= AFGHANISTAN / ATTACK (L)

NUMBER=2-317844

BYLINE= MICHAEL KITCHEN

DATELINE= ISLAMABAD

HEADLINE: Bomb Blast in Afghanistan Kills Two as Aid Group Announces Pullout

INTRO: A bombing at a voter registration site in southeastern

Afghanistan has left at least two Afghans dead, including one United

Nations staff worker. VOA's Michael Kitchen reports from Islamabad, the attack came as the group Doctors Without Borders announced it was withdrawing its staff from the country because of security concerns.

TEXT: United Nations and U.S. military officials say the homemade explosive device went off Wednesday morning at a mosque in Ghazni Province.

U.N. workers were registering voters for Afghanistan's first post-war elections, including a presidential election in October and a parliamentary election next spring.

U.S. military spokesman Major Jon Siepmann says two employees of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan were wounded in the blast and evacuated to a coalition base near Kabul.

/// SIEPMANN ACT ///

"The two injured UNAMA workers were flown by United Nations helicopter

to the 325th field hospital at Bagram Air Field with serious injuries."

/// END ACT ///

The incident coincided with an announcement by the Nobel Prize-winning

medical aid group Doctors Without Borders that it will be ending its

operations in the country.

A Dutch director for Doctors Without Borders, Kenny Gluck, cited last month's killing of two Afghan and three foreign staff members in an ambush in northwestern Badghis Province.

He said Afghan authorities had not acted against some of the suspects in

the attack.

/// GLUCK ACT ///

"They have credible evidence of the involvement of local commanders in

Badghis Province. But so far, they have neither detained these people

nor have they publicly denounced them and declared them to be fugitives."

/// END ACT ///

He also noted other security concerns, including a public threat by

militant members of Afghanistan's former Taleban regime, who vowed to

target the group.

The Taleban has accused Doctors Without Borders of working with U.S.

troops offering security for the current transitional government, something

which the aid group denies.

/// REST OPT ///

Mr. Gluck says the decision to leave Afghanistan was a difficult one,

given the organization's long history in the country.

/// 2nd GLUCK ACT ///

"It's a tremendously sad day because were doing this after 24 years of

work in Afghanistan."

/// END ACT ///

But he said concern for the group's volunteers was simply too great.

(SIGNED)

NEB/MK/KBK/KL



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