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U.N. office destroyed in Darfur violence

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Recent violence in the Darfur region of Sudan has forced a U.N. operation to relocate after fresh ground violence destroyed a U.N. office.

Kenro Oshidari, acting U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, said the U.N. office in the Muhajeria area in south Darfur burned to the ground after a new surge in fighting broke out between the rebel Justice and Equality Movement and Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi, the United Nations reported.

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The United Nations estimates the lives of as many as 30,000 civilians in the Muhajeria region are under threat. Oshidari called for an immediate halt in the violence.

"The hostilities must stop so that aid agencies can get back to the town to continue their life-saving work," Oshidari said in a statement.

The rebel clash destroying the U.N. office follows an aerial bombing in the region by Sudanese government forces Thursday. Officials say the new wave of violence is threatening the ability of aid workers to distribute humanitarian aid in the war-ravaged southern Darfur region.

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