UN evacuates all non-essential staff from Beirut

The UN is evacuating all nonessential staff from Beirut because of the IAF strikes on Lebanon, the world body's refugee agency said Tuesday. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is closely monitoring the situation, and staff on the ground report that the thousands fleeing to Syria are mostly Syrian nationals working temporarily in Lebanon, said spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis. "Nonessential UN staff are being evacuated from Beirut," Pagonis said. "Essential UNHCR staff remain on the ground." Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said all 400 international UN staff in Lebanon, as well as 88 visitors, had been accounted for and were safe.