Russians kidnapped in Darfur as American released: UNBy DPA, IANS
Monday, August 30, 2010
NAIROBI/KHARTOUM - Three Russian aircrew members have been kidnapped in Sudan’s restive Darfur province as an American woman held for months was released, the United Nations said Monday.
Earlier reports said that only two pilots had been seized, but the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said in a statement that three helicopter crew members were taken Sunday from the town of Nyala.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that a pilot, co-pilot and engineer were all kidnapped.
Government-run news agency SUNA said the Russians were working for Sudan’s Badr Airlines.
UNAMID also said that a woman who worked for US charity Samaritan’s Purse had been handed over to the government in the same town after spending 105 days in captivity.
Media reports said no ransom was paid for her release.
Kidnappings of foreigners for ransom has risen in Darfur since the International Criminal Court early last year issued an arrest warrant against President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes in the province.
Aid workers and peacekeepers are the chief targets.
Two Jordanian peacekeepers were abducted earlier this month and released after a few days.