Gunmen abduct peacekeepers in Darfur, 2 missing: UN



Gunmen abduct peacekeepers in Darfur, 2 missing: UN Khartoum: Gunmen abducted more than 40 peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur region before freeing all but two of them a day later, the United Nations and African Union mission said on Saturday.

"The convoy was captured on Friday and taken to an unknown destination. This morning the members of the mission were released. They are in a secure place, but two members are missing," mission spokesman Kemal Saiki said.

"We don't know who is responsible for this act," he said, adding the peacekeepers were to assess fresh fighting between government forces and rebels in Darfur's central Jebel Marra plateau.

Rebel groups who have been battling Sudanese troops in Jebel Marra say hundreds of people have been killed and thousands displaced by the latest violence.

The Sudanese military denies the deaths, which could not be independently confirmed.

French aid agency Medecins du Monde said the recent fighting in the eastern part of Jebel Marra had forced 100,000 civilians to flee their homes.

It said clashes around the town of Deribat had forced it to suspend its operations in the area.

Security in the region, a bastion of Abdelwahid Nur's Sudan Liberation Army faction which saw little fighting since the Darfur conflict began in 2003, has deteriorated in recent months.

PTI