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British Newspaper: UN Peacekeepers Allegedly Raped Children in Sudan

A British newspaper reports that United Nations peacekeepers in southern Sudan are facing allegations of raping and sexually abusing children as young as 12.

The Daily Telegraph says it based its story on an internal report by the United Nations Children's Fund.

The newspaper says the alleged abuse started shortly after U.N. peacekeepers arrived in southern Sudan in March, 2005.

One 13-year-old alleged victim said U.N. personnel enticed him into their car with money, sexually abused him, then tossed him out with no cash.

A British peacekeeping official has already denied the charges. But a senior U.N. official has told the Associated Press that the allegations will be treated seriously and investigated.

U.N. officials fired one peacekeeper and suspended several others without pay in 2005 for allegations of bribing women and girls for sex in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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