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French Red Cross worker abducted in Darfur

  • Story Highlights
  • French aid worker seized near Al Geneina in West Darfur, near Chad border
  • ICRC vehicle in which Gauthier Lefevre was traveling was clearly marked
  • Identity of kidnappers now known, agency says
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(CNN) -- Several armed men Thursday abducted a French national working for the Red Cross in Sudan's volatile Darfur region, the agency said.

Gauthier Lefevre, a staffer for the International Committee of the Red Cross, was taken near the town of Al Geneina in West Darfur, close to the border with Chad, the Red Cross said.

Lefevre and his colleagues were returning to Al Geneina in clearly marked ICRC vehicles at the time, the agency said. They were completing a trip north of the town to help local communities upgrade their water supply systems, it said.

The identity of the kidnappers is not known, the ICRC said, and the agency is working with authorities to get Lefevre's release.

An estimated 300,000 people have died and 3 million have been displaced in Sudan's Darfur region, where government forces and their Arab Janjaweed militia allies have been battling rebels since 2003, the United Nations says.

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