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Darfur Rebels Free All Kidnapped African Union Workers

A spokesman for the African Union says all 38 peacekeepers who were kidnapped in Sudan's troubled Darfur region have been released.

The spokesman said the hostages were released on Monday following a shootout between rival groups.

The peacekeepers were abducted Sunday in the town of Tine near Sudan's border with Chad. A dissident faction of Darfur's rebel Justice and Equality Movement has been blamed for the kidnappings.

The kidnappings took place a day after two AU peacekeepers and two civilian contractors were killed in an ambush blamed on the main Darfur rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Army.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan says attacks by rebels groups and criminal activity in Darfur have created a very dangerous situation for humanitarian workers. He warned the government and rebels continued violence will impede humanitarian aid.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters and AFP.