Afghanistan expels European Union, UN officials for meeting with Taliban

The Afghan government expelled two senior diplomats from the U.N. and European Union on Thursday after accusing them of holding unauthorized meetings with Taliban militants in Afghanistan's volatile south, officials said. The diplomats - one worked for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the other was the acting head of the European Union mission - had traveled to Musa Qala in the southern Helmand province on Monday, where they met with local leaders, said Aleem Siddique, a spokesman for the UN mission. After that trip the two were accused of meeting with Taliban militants and were told to leave the country, according to Afghan and Western officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. They left the country on Thursday, Siddique said. President Hamid Karzai's spokesman, Humayun Hamidzada, said the two were "involved in some activities that were not their jobs."