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Sudan Pledges to Ground Antonov Planes over Darfur

The Sudanese government says it will stop flying Russian-made Antonov planes over the Darfur region where it has been accused of bombing villages.

Sudan's Interior Minister Abdel Rahim Hussein told Reuters news agency (Saturday) the government would no longer use the aircraft, a move that follows last week's request by the United Nations.

Top U.N. envoy Jan Pronk told Sudan's government that civilians are fleeing their homes and villages whenever the planes fly over, and also fear the Antonovs are being used to coordinate ground attacks with Arab militia.

Government bombers and helicopter gunships have been reported over Darfur in recent weeks. The Sudanese insist the Antonovs are being used for surveillance, not bombing.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the western Sudan region while nearly two million people have fled their homes.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.