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Darfur rebels claim holding 52 peacekeepers

(Xinhua)

08:46, February 21, 2012

KHARTOUM, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- A major armed rebel group in Sudan's Darfur region claimed Monday that it was holding 52 international peacekeepers of the United Nations-African Union hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID).

Gibril Ibrahim, spokesman of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), told Xinhua on phone that the peacekeepers were not abducted, but "only being held" by the group.

"We are holding the UNAMID soldiers because they entered our territory without our permission," the spokesman said.

He added that they also suspected the Sudanese soldiers accompanying the peacekeepers were working for the Sudanese security services.

The UNAMID could not be reached to make a comment on the event at the moment.

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