Sudan has approved the deployment of 105 armored personnel carriers to aid African Union peacekeeping forces in the war-torn western region of Darfur.

The Sudanese decision follows recent rebel attacks on AU peacekeepers in Darfur.

In one of the attacks, five AU soldiers and civilian personnel were killed when rebels with the Sudan Liberation Movement ambushed a convoy. Separately, a faction of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement abducted and held hostage 38 AU personnel. They were later released.

The Canadian-donated armored personnel vehicles are expected to begin arriving on Friday.

Ongoing violence in Darfur has forced aid agencies to evacuate relief workers.

Some 7,000 AU peacekeepers are in Darfur, where fighting between rebels and government-backed Arab militia has killed tens of thousands of people over the past two years.

More than two million others have been driven from their homes.

Some information for this report provided by AP.