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October 03, 2012

UN Peacekeepers Killed in West Darfur Ambush

by VOA News

Unknown gunmen have killed four U.N. peacekeepers and wounded eight others during an ambush in Sudan's Darfur region.

According to the U.N.-African Union Mission in Darfur [UNAMID], the assailants opened fire on the peacekeepers late Tuesday in West Darfur state.

A mission spokesman said the peacekeepers - all from Nigeria - were on patrol in the state capital El-Geneina when they came under heavy fire from several directions.

"They were providing administrative and logistic support and they were moving from one of our camps to the other," said Chris Cycmanick. "From what I can remember I think this is probably one of the deadliest days that we've had in terms of losing peacekeepers."

The ambush took place about two kilometers from the mission's regional headquarters, according to UNAMID.

The spokesman said it is not clear who carried out the attack.

Rebels in the region have been battling Sudan's central government since 2003.

The Security Council extended the peacekeepers' mandate by one year in July. The force consists of about 21,000 soldiers and police.

 "They were providing administrative and logistics support and they were moving from one of our camps to the other. From what I can remember, I think this is probably one of the deadliest days that we've had in terms of losing peacekeepers," said Cycmanick.