Gunmen kill 5 peacekeepers in Darfur attacks
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Last Updated: Sunday, December 06, 2009, 13:40
Cairo: Gunmen killed five Rwandan soldiers in a series of attacks on the international peacekeeping force in Darfur, a spokesman for the mission said, marking a swift upsurge in violence in the western Sudanese region.

The attacks on Friday and Saturday targeted peacekeepers from the United Nations-African Union force, which deployed nearly two years ago to protect civilians and improve security in Darfur.

Fighting between rebels and Sudanese government forces began there in 2003, killing up to 300,000 people and driving 2.7 million from their homes. The government says those figures are exaggerated.

That violence has largely subsided, but the two attacks on peacekeepers demonstrate how vulnerable the under-funded and ill-equipped UNAMID force remains, as banditry and kidnappings of foreign aid workers continue to plague efforts to stabilise the vast desert region.

In yesterday's attack, assailants approached the gate of a camp for people displaced by the conflict and shot at peacekeepers distributing water, said UNAMID spokesman Kemal Saiki.

The attack took place about 65 kilometres south of el-Fasher, the capital of northern Darfur.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, December 06, 2009, 13:40

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