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Search Underway for Jordanians Kidnapped in Darfur

A UNAMID patrol in Darfur
A UNAMID patrol in Darfur

Authorities are searching for two Jordanian peacekeepers who were kidnapped in Sudan's Darfur region.

Jordan confirmed the nationality of the missing men on Sunday, and said they were believed to be unharmed.

Jordan's Information Minister Ali Ayed said the two are among only four security personnel Jordan has working for the joint United Nations-African Union mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID.

UNAMID said Saturday the two were grabbed in the South Darfur state capital, Nyala, as they were walking to a UNAMID transport dispatch point about 100 meters from their residence. They were approached by three individuals in a four-wheel-drive vehicle and seized at gunpoint.

The kidnapping is the latest in a series of attacks on UNAMID forces in recent weeks. Last month, an ambush wounded seven peacekeepers, and another ambush in June killed three and wounded a fourth.

UNAMID has been in place since early 2008 and was formed to protect civilians and stop violence in Darfur. The U.N. says the seven-year conflict there has killed as many as 300,000 people and displaced 2.7 million. Sudan's government says around 10,000 people have died.

Peacekeepers and foreign aid workers have faced increased hostility in Darfur since last year, when the International Criminal Court indicted Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes.

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