Armed men ambush Nigerian battalion

May 24, 2008 at 12:07 AM

KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 24 (UPI) -- Dozens of armed men in Darfur, Sudan, ambushed a Nigerian battalion that was on a United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission, officials said.

About 50 to 60 men riding horses ambushed the battalion Wednesday and made off with weapons, telephones and money, U.N. News Service reported Thursday.

Forty-five Nigerian soldiers died Wednesday in a road accident shortly after returning from the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, the Federal Road Safety Commission said.

The accident -- which occurred when the soldiers' bus crashed into a fuel tanker -- was blamed on low visibility on the Kari-Potiskuim-Maiduguri road, This Day reported Friday.

"These gallant Nigerian soldiers had just been re-inducted from the AU Peace Mission, where they had served meritoriously, and flown our nation's banner with pride and distinction," Nigerian Vice President Goodluck Jonathan said.

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