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2 abducted Jordanians with UN-AU force in Darfur freed

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Jordanian king sends jet to Sudan to bring back the two
  • NEW:They were kidnapped in Nyala
  • Darfur has been wracked with conflict for years

(CNN) -- The two Jordanians kidnapped on Saturday in Sudan's Darfur region have been freed, a spokesman for Sudan's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The two were serving with a U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission when they were snatched off the street on Saturday in Nyala, the capital of the southern Darfur region, by three people in a vehicle.

Jordanian media reported that the king sent a private military jet to Sudan, where they will be picked up and then brought back to Jordan.

Another abduction occurred in Darfur recently. Two Germans were kidnapped but were released last month.

The United Nations has extended its 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 has "deteriorated" and is at a "critical juncture." He said the Sudanese government often denies access by staffers and aid agencies to the areas where the fighting is taking place.

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.