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10 UNAMID soldiers injured in UXO blast in North Darfur

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UNAMID peacekeepers on patrol in Sortony, North Darfur on 10 Nov 2016 (UNAMID Photo)
June 7, 2017 (EL-FASHER) - Ten soldiers from the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Wednesday have been injured when their vehicle was hit by an explosion while they were on patrol.

UNAMID official spokesperson, Ashraf Eissa told Sudan Tribune that a routine patrol of peacekeepers was on its way back from the town of Al-Tina when one of its cars was hit by an explosion.

He added, “it is believed that the vehicle passed over Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), after which 10 peacekeepers were injured, one seriously”.

Eissa stressed the wounded have been transferred immediately to the UNAMID camp, 3,5 km from the incident scene, saying they were then flown to the Mission’s hospital in El-Fasher, North Darfur State capital.

He pointed that they have notified the local authorities of the incident, saying an investigation is underway.

The spokesperson said the security department at the Mission continued to cooperate and coordinate with the Sudanese authorities in such incidents to uncover the circumstances.

“Preliminary investigations indicate that the explosion was caused by an unexploded object,” he added

UXO’s represents great danger in Darfur region which has seen war for over a decade.

UXOs are classified as explosive weapons and include bombs, bullets, shells, grenades and land mines that did not explode when they were deployed and therefore still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded.

Many areas of Darfur remain littered with mines and other explosives due to the protracted conflict between rebels, government forces and allied militiamen.

While the joint peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) has taken recent steps to de-mine large tracts of land, it says ongoing insecurity in the region continues to interfere with efforts to fully address the issue.

In July 2016, a UXO killed two children and seriously wounded their sister in Malit locality, 60 kilometres north of El-Fasher the capital of North Darfur State.

(ST)

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