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UN: 3 Contractors Kidnapped in Darfur

Three contractors working for the U.N. World Food Program have been kidnapped in Sudan's Darfur region.

A WFP spokeswoman Amor Almagro said the three are members of a helicopter crew managed by the agency. She said they were abducted Thursday at an airstrip southeast of Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state.

Bulgaria's foreign ministry says all three men are Bulgarian nationals.

Bandits and armed groups frequently kidnap U.N. and international aid workers in Darfur. The kidnappings have increased since March 2009, when the International Criminal Court indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in the region.

Most of the hostages have been released unharmed.

Darfur has experienced more than seven years of conflict since rebels took up arms against Mr. Bashir's government in 2003. The United Nations says some 300,000 people have died in the conflict, with another 2.7 million displaced from their homes.