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U.N. peacekeeper killed in Darfur ambush

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:22 AM EDT, Thu October 18, 2012
  • South African peacekeeper is killed in an ambush on a U.N. convoy
  • Members of the U.N. Mission in Darfur came under heavy fire
  • The peacekeepers have been deployed since 2007; 43 have been killed

(CNN) -- A South African peacekeeper was killed in an ambush on a U.N. convoy in the restive Sudanese province of Darfur on Thursday, the United Nations said.

Members of the U.N. Mission in Darfur were on their way to check out reports of recent violence in the northern part of the province when they came under heavy fire from automatic weapons and mortars, a UNAMID statement reported.

The peacekeepers returned fire, but one of their members died and three more were wounded, the mission said.

At U.N. headquarters in New York, Security Council members condemned the attack and demanded that Sudanese officials "swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice."

Clooney warns of Darfur-like crisis

It's the second fatal attack on the peacekeeping mission this month, after the October 2 killings of four Nigerian troops. A total of 43 UNAMID members have been killed since the peacekeeping force was deployed at the end of 2007.

Four Nigerians killed in attack

The United Nations says least 300,000 have been killed in Darfur, Sudan's westernmost province, since 2003 amid a rebellion against the government and its allied militias. Sudan's government puts the death toll at 10,000.

The conflict has led to international war-crimes charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his defense minister.

In 2011, a peace agreement was signed between the Sudanese government and one rebel movement, the Liberation and Justice Movement, with international support. Three other rebel groups have refused to sign.

CNN's Richard Roth and journalist Ismail Kushkush contributed to this report.

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