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AU's Airplane Under Attack in Darfur

An African Union (AU) monitoring mission's airplane had been attacked in Sudan's western region of Darfur and all air operations for the mission have been suspended, Sudanese daily Alayaam reported on Tuesday. 

The airplane was subject to fire shooting while on its way to Labado area, 65 km from Niyala town on Sunday, an AU official said.


The airplane's body has been slightly damaged by bullets but there were no casualties among the crew, added the official.


"When such an incident takes place, we must suspend all air monitoring operations so as to evaluate the situation in the area," said the official, stressing the attack was an evidence of the truce between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebels in the Labado area was not steadfast.


AU's spokesman Asani Saba said in Abuja "they fire at our planes, which means that they are not committed to the ceasefire agreement."


However, Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Othman Ismail said information on targeting the monitors' airplane "is still insufficient."


"We expect more information and explanation from the AU and the monitoring committee to identify the attackers," added Ismail.


(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2004)

AU Says Fighting Continues in Darfur
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