Two Egyptian peacekeepers killed in Darfur by gunmen

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Two peacekeepers from Egypt, working for the joint United Nations-African Union mission in Darfur, were killed in an ambush yesterday by gunmen, reports say.

Three others were hurt when the incident happened near Edd al-Fursan in South Darfur. Kemal Saiki, a spokesman with the mission, commented on the incident in a statement: "Today, at about 11:30 am [14.30 UTC], a military convoy from UNAMID's Egyptian contingent, with three vehicles and 20 personnel, was ambushed near Katila village, 85 kilometres [53 miles] south of Edd al-Fursan, South Darfur, by a group of unidentified armed men who indiscriminately opened fire, without warning, on the peacekeepers.

"The attackers fled when the convoy returned fire. The attack left two peacekeepers killed in action and three seriously wounded," Saiki added. He condemned the clash as being a "criminal act".

Nobody has, as of yet, claimed responsibility for the attack. Darfur and the surrounding region are prone to violence, caused by a civil war; with these deaths, 24 peacekeepers have been killed since UNAMID was deployed to the area two years ago.