UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced Monday he will order U.N. weapons inspectors and humanitarian staff to leave Iraq.

Annan made the announcement after tell a closed Security Council meeting of his plans. He did not say when the evacuations would begin.

``I have just informed the council that we will withdraw the UNMOVIC and atomic agency inspectors. We will withdraw the U.N. humanitarian workers,'' Annan said.

According to U.N. officials, there are currently a total of 156 U.N. inspectors and support staff in Iraq from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is in charge of nuclear inspections, and the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, known as UNMOVIC, which is responsible for inspecting chemical, biological and long-range missiles.