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UN pulling out nonessential int'l staff from Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — The United Nations says it is pulling out all non-essential international staff from Syria due to security issues in the civil war-struck Arab state.

The U.N.'s regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria says up to a quarter of the 100 international staff working for several U.N. agencies could exit by week's end.

Radhouane Nouicer said Monday that the reason is because "the security situation has become extremely difficult, including in Damascus," the Syrian capital.

Nouicer's statement also says the U.N. is halting any field trips outside Damascus by its staff, except for certain emergencies.

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