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U.N. peacekeeper killed in Darfur

Aug. 13, 2012 at 2:23 PM

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The killing of a peacekeeper with the AU-U.N. mission in Sudan's Darfur region constitutes a war crime, an official said.

The African Union-U.N. Mission in Darfur confirmed a peacekeeper from Bangladesh was killed last weekend at a camp for the internally displaced in South Darfur.

The mission said one other person was injured in the attack. "Armed men" were reported to have fled the scene after security forces returned fire.

Aichatou Mindaoudou, acting joint special envoy to the peacekeeping mission, said the attack constitutes a war crime under international law. The attack on peacekeepers, she said in a statement, was "cowardly" and "deplorable."

The mission in Darfur called on the Sudanese government to conduct a serious investigation into the attack.

The International Criminal Court in 2009 issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on war crimes charges in Darfur. The United Nations estimates that at least 300,000 people have died since 2003 as a result of fighting between rebel forces and the government-backed Janjaweed militia.

The U.N. Security Council last month voted to cut down on the military and police component of the peacekeeping force in order to focus on parts of Darfur "with the highest security threats."

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