July 27 (UPI) -- More than 60 people were killed and another 60 were injured during an armed attack on a West Darfur village amid a recent escalation in violence in the region, the United Nations said.
Some 500 men attacked Masteri Town, some 30 miles from El Geneina Town, Saturday afternoon, leaving dozens of locals dead, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Sunday, adding some of the injured were transferred to the state's capital for treatment via helicopter.
An unknown number of homes south, north and east of the village were also looted and burned in the attack, the U.N. office said.
"This was one of the latest of a series of security incidents reported over the last week that left several villages and houses burned, markets and shops looted and infrastructure damaged," it said in a statement.
After the attack, around 500 people held a sit-in protest against the recent uptick in violence, urging authorities to implement measures to protect them. They told authorities that they will not bury their 60 dead until their demands are met.
Since July 17, there have been at least seven violent attacks in the Sudanese state that borders Chad, leaving dozens dead and injured and many more displaced due to homes having been razed, the U.N. office said.
"The escalation of violence in different parts of Darfur region is leading to increased displacement, compromising the agricultural season, causing loss of lives and livelihoods and driving growing humanitarian needs," it said.
Due to the recent rapid increase in violence, the government of West Darfur declared a complete lockdown for El Geneina and Beida from July 20, which follows North Darfur declaring a state of emergency on July 13.
The civil conflict between the government and militiamen allies and rebel groups broke out in the Sudanese region in 2003, leaving an estimated 300,000 killed and around 2.7 million internally displaced, according to the U.N.
Former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted from the helm of the country in April of last year but was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009 on charges of crimes against humanity, genocide and others in connection to his actions in Darfur.