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Gunmen kidnap two UNAMID workers

world Updated: Aug 29, 2009 20:32 IST

AFP
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Two local civilian staffers of the UNAMID joint UN-African Union peacekeeping forces in Darfur were kidnapped by gunmen early Saturday, the spokesman for the UN mission said.

"This morning at 4:30 am local time, armed men attacked the UNAMID staff residence in Zalingei, Darfur and abducted two civilian members of the staff, a man and a woman," Noureddin Mezni told AFP.

The kidnappings mark the first abductions of UNAMID staff members, Mezni said, without identifying the civilian workers or the kidnappers.

He said contact had been made with the abductors to determine their demands.

There have been three abductions in Darfur since an the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant in March against Sudanese President Omar el-Beshir for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Two cases had a happy ending with foreign human right workers freed by their captors, but two women aid workers from Ireland and Uganda who were seized on July 3 are still being held.

Gunmen, demanding a ransom, kidnapped Sharon Commins and Hilda Kawuki from the offices of the Irish aid group Goal in the North Darfur city of Kutum.

"We're expecting good news during Ramadan," North Darfur state Humanitarian Affairs Minister Abdel Baqi Gilani said on Monday, two days after the start of the Muslim fasting month.

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