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6 killed as UNAMID clashes with gunmen in South Darfur

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April 23, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Six people were killed and five others injured from the Zaghawa Um-Kmelty tribe in South Darfur on Thursday at the hands of peacekeepers from the joint African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

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Nepalese soldiers from the hybrid African Union-United Nations MIssion in Darfur (UNAMID) perform training exercises at UNAMID’s Super Camp in El Fasher, Sudan (Photo: UN/Olivier Chassot)

The incident took place on the road between Kass and Shangita, just 86km west of state capital Nyala.

Sudan Tribune’s correspondent in South Darfur cited UNAMID patrol soldiers as saying that a group of gunmen tried to steal the vehicle they were riding on thus forcing the unit to engage them using firepower.

But other tribesmen claimed that the armed group was going after stolen cattle when they encountered the patrol stressing that it was not their intention to attack the peacekeepers.

They said the incident occurred when militiamen on horseback were charging in the direction of the patrol which led the latter to think they are bandits.

There was no official comment from UNAMID or the tribe about the incident but tensions were high in the area housing the tribe.

South Darfur has witnessed over the last year a wave of kidnapping, murder and looting which prompted state authorities to declare an indefinite emergency situation and impose a daily curfew.

The state also banned riding of motorcycles by more than one person, holding weapons while wearing civilian clothes, vehicles driving around without license plates, and wearing a kadamool (a turban which covers the face).

(ST)

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