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Two police advisers abducted in Sudan's Darfur region

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Two unarmed police advisers have been abducted in the capital of southern Darfur
  • The advisers worked with the joint United Nations-African Union
  • Two German aid workers were seized in the same neighborhood in June

(CNN) -- Two police advisers working with the joint United Nations-African Union force in Sudan's Darfur region were abducted early Saturday morning, according to a spokesman.

Chris Cycmanick, spokesman for the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) told CNN that the unarmed advisers were kidnapped from a street in Nyala, the capital of the southern Darfur region, by three individuals in a vehicle.

"They had weapons and basically snatched the two and the vehicle headed east," Cycmanick said, adding that the advisers were only about about a 100 meters (328 feet) from their residence when they were taken. He said UNAMID has restrictions on the use of 4X4 vehicles in the area, and the advisers were on on the way to catch a shuttle bus when they were kidnapped.

Two other police advisers were nearby and witnessed the abduction, according to Cycmanick. A helicopter was sent on a search-and-rescue mission.

Cycamanick says two German aid workers were kidnapped in the same area in June.

The U.N recently extended the mission in Darfur for another year, despite a report released at the end of July that painted a grim picture of the security situation there. It found that violence in the region has increased over the previous year.

May of 2010 was the deadliest month in Darfur since the U.N. mission deployed there in 2007.

U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari recently said the situation in the region has "deteriorated" and is at a "critical juncture." He said staffers and aid agencies are often denied access to the areas where the fighting is taking place by the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

According to U.N. statistics, as many as 300,000 people are believed to have died and at least 2.5 million displaced from their homes in Darfur since fighting broke out between the government, the government-allied Janjaweed militia, and

other armed rebel groups in 2003.

The conflict has been marked by widespread atrocities, including the murder of civilians and the rape of women and girls.

CNN's Amir Ahmed contributed to this report.