JEM rebels spark violence in Darfur

KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 26 (UPI) -- A surge in rebel fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan, forcing hundreds of civilians from their homes, has prompted criticism from the United Nations.

The violence, around the North Darfur town of Umm Baru near Sudan's border with Chad, has resulted in an estimated 53 people suffering injuries, according to the U.N.-African Union mission in the region.


The U.N.-AU mission also reported hearing explosions in the region after Sudanese government aircraft responded to the violence, the United Nations reported.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the violence, which was sparked by the rebel Justice and Equality Movement, undermines peace in the already fragile Darfur region.

The violence "puts civilian lives directly at risk and which seriously undermines efforts to achieve a peaceful end to the conflict in Darfur," Ban said in a statement.

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