Home | News    Monday 4 August 2003

Russian chopper leaves Sudan, resumes course for DRCongo

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MOSCOW, Aug 4 (AFP) — A Russian Mi-26 helicopter detained in Sudan last week over charges of assisting rebels in the west of the country has resumed its trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, airline officials said late Monday.

The helicopter, which had flown out of Khartoum late Monday, was due to land in Egypt before heading off to DRC, deputy chief of the Vertikal-T airline Kirill Anosov told the ITAR-TASS news agency.

The giant helicopter was headed for the DRC on a UN mission when it was ordered to land on Sudanese territory and captured on July 24.

Sudan’s Media Centre, an independent agency, said authorities suspected the helicopter was being used for the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) rebels from the Darfur region who since February have clashed with government troops.

The release of the aircraft and crew came after loud protests from Moscow.

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