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Aid workers caught in Sudanese crossfire

July 8, 2013 at 10:32 AM   |   Comments

KHARTOUM, Sudan, July 8 (UPI) -- The United Nations said two aid workers were killed in attacks in Darfur which coincided with an assassination attempt on a war crimes suspect.

The United Nations reports two humanitarian relief workers from World Vision International were killed during a gun fight between Sudanese forces and rebel groups in the troubled Darfur region.

"Humanitarian workers in Darfur are there to improve the lives of others," U.N. relief coordinator in Sudan Ali al-Za'tari said in a statement Sunday. "They should not have to pay for their noble work with their own blood."

Za'tari expressed concern over the status of Darfur civilians coping with lingering violence. Some NGOs may scale back their operations in response to last week's violence, he said.

The Sudanese government imposed a curfew over parts of Darfur in response to the violence.

The independent Sudan Tribune reports last week's violence coincided with an assassination attempt on Janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb. He's wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

Sudanese President Omar Bashir is among those wanted for war crimes in connected with the genocide in Darfur from 2003-04. Khartoum is not party to the Rome Statute that created the ICC.

The Sudanese newspaper reports Kushayb suffered severe injuries to his hands and was treated in an area hospital.

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