Peacekeeper shoots dead three comrades, self in Sudan

KHARTOUM Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:05pm GMT

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KHARTOUM (Reuters) - An international peacekeeper killed three other peacekeepers before killing himself in the Darfur region of Sudan, the U.N.-led international peacekeeping force (UNAMID) said on Friday.

The shooting happened at a UNAMID site in Mukjar in West Darfur on Thursday, UNAMID spokeswoman Aicha Elbasri said, adding that the gunman had shot himself and another comrade had been wounded.

The African Union-United Nations force initially had said the peacekeeper killed four comrades. "The mission is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident," Elbasri said, declining further comment.

Despite the presence of the world's largest peacekeeping mission, fighting between Sudan's armed forces and rebels has continued, alongside banditry and tribal clashes, since the conflict erupted in 2003.

In a separate statement, UNAMID said it was investigating whether the Sudanese air force had bombed this week two areas in North Darfur as reported by local sources.

It sent a patrol to Shangil Tobaya to verify reported bombings but had been denied access by the Sudanese army, UNAMID said, adding that civilians had fled the area.

"The Mission...warns that continued fighting could lead to a catastrophic humanitarian situation for the displaced civilians in North Darfur," it said.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other officials for masterminding war crimes in Darfur. They deny the charges and refuse to recognise the court.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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