Bulgarian helicopter crew kidnapped in Sudan



Bulgarian helicopter crew kidnapped in Sudan Khartoum: Three Bulgarian helicopter aircrew working on a UN contract were kidnapped in Sudan's troubled Darfur region Friday, the United Nations and the Bulgarian foreign ministry said.

The trio, seized by unidentified gunmen, were reportedly well.

"A crew of three Bulgarian nationals, working for a Bulgarian airline company operating flights on a UN contract, were kidnapped in north Sudan," the foreign ministry said in Sofia.

UNAMID, the joint UN-African Union mission in Darfur, said the three were working on a World Food Programme (WFP) mission when seized at Um-Shalaya southeast of El-Geneina in West Darfur.

"The incident occurred as the crew landed their helicopter at approximately 10:35 hrs and were subsequently met by unknown armed men," said a statement from UNAMID. It said no other details were immediately available.

The three work for the UN Humanitarian Air Service, which is managed by the WFP.

Bulgarian foreign ministry spokeswoman Vesela Cherneva told national radio: "We have confirmed their identities but cannot disclose any details at this stage."

PTI