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Afghan Taliban bans WHO and Red Cross work amid vaccination drive

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KABUL (Reuters) – The Afghan Taliban have banned the World Health Organization and the Red Cross from operating in areas under their control until further notice, a spokesman said on Thursday, citing unspecified “suspicious” actions during vaccination campaigns.

The move come as the WHO is carrying out a vaccination campaign in Afghanistan, one of the last countries in the world where polio is still endemic.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said fighting across Afghanistan had created a “complex situation” and some charitable organisations including the WHO and the Red Cross were not operating in accordance with the situation.

“They have not stuck to the commitments they had with Islamic Emirates, and they are acting suspiciously during vaccination campaigns,” he said, providing no details.

Other aid groups were free to continue operations, he said.

There was no immediate comment from the two organisations.

(Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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