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Darfur Rebels Claim Downing of Sudanese Government Plane


A Darfur rebel group says it has shot down a Sudanese government fighter jet. A spokesman for the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said Wednesday that the group brought down a MiG-29 jet on Tuesday.

A Sudanese defense spokesman denied the claim, saying he knows of no missing plane.

Rebels say the plane had been bombing civilian villages in the region. They say the plane was shot down south of Adila, in the eastern part of South Darfur state.

The United Nations and African Union are trying to arrange peace talks between the many Darfur rebel groups and the Sudanese government.

On Monday, several Darfur rebel groups agreed to a common platform for the proposed peace talks.

An estimated 200,000 people have been killed and more than two million others have been displaced in Darfur since fighting began more than four years ago.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council authorized a peacekeeping force of 26,000 for the region. The U.N. and AU are trying to assemble soldiers and equipment for the mission.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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