Annan Orders Cut in U.N. Staff in Iraq

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Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) on Thursday ordered a further reduction of U.N. international staff in Iraq (search) after the second bombing at U.N. headquarters there in a month.

"This is not an evacuation, just a further downsizing and the security situation in the country remains under constant review," U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

Annan's order came days after the second bombing outside U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, on Monday, which killed an Iraqi policeman and injured 19 others.

The first bombing, Aug. 19, killed 22 people at the headquarters. At that time, there were about 300 international staff in Baghdad and another 300 elsewhere in Iraq.

Annan had initially ordered significant reductions to the international staff, down to 42 in Baghdad and 44 in the north, Eckhard said.

"Those numbers can be expected to shrink further over the next few days," Eckhard said.

He refused to say how many international staff would remain in the country, but added that more than 4,000 Iraqi nationals also work for the United Nations (search).

The staff ordered to leave the country would depart in the next two days to Amman, Jordan, the spokesman said.