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Rebels capture UN contract helicopter with Russian crew

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-27

A Russian helicopter chartered by the UN was seized by rebels in Sudan's Darfur region, Russia said on Tuesday. Four Russian crew and five Sudanese passengers were on board.

REUTERS - A helicopter with four Russian crew and five Sudanese passengers has been seized by insurgents in Sudan's Darfur region, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
 
It said the helicopter belonged to Russian aviation company UTair and had been working in the conflict-torn western region on a contract with the United Nations to supply U.N. and African Union peacekeepers.
 
"According to our information, there are no casualties, and the aircraft is intact," the ministry said. It could not be immediately reached for further details of the Monday incident.
 
It said Russia's embassy in Sudan was trying "to clarify the situation and ensure that the Sudanese authorities act to free the Russian nationals held by the insurgents".
 
U.N. officials estimate that as many as 300,000 people have died in Darfur since rebels took up arms in 2003, accusing Khartoum of neglecting the arid region. khartoum puts the death toll at around 10,000.

Date created : 2010-07-27

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