UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon visits Afghanistan

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UNITED NATIONS. November 2. KAZINFORM UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Afghanistan on Monday for meetings with President Hamid Karzai and leading opposition figure Abdullah Abdullah, the UN mission in Afghanistan said; Kazinform refers to RIA Novosti.

The visit comes after a deadly attack on a UN guest house last week that killed five foreign UN staff, and after Abdullah withdrew on Sunday from the second round of presidential elections that would have pitted him against Karzai.

The former foreign minister pulled out of the runoff accusing election authorities of bias in favor of the incumbent. His decision cast doubt on the legitimacy of the next government as the August 20 was marred by reports of fraud.

Ban will "meet Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and President Hamid Karzai to assure them and the Afghan people of the continuing support of the United Nations towards the development of the country and the humanitarian assistance that the UN provides to millions of Afghans everyday," the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a statement.

Ban will also meet with his special representative and other UN staff, nine of whom were wounded in the attack on the guest house on October 28. Two Afghan police officers were also killed, and a number of police, passers-by and residents were injured; Kazinform cites RIA Novosti.

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