ATTACKERS have killed three UN peacekeepers in an ambush at a refugee camp in Sudan’s Darfur conflict zone, the United Nations says.

Six peacekeepers were wounded, three seriously, in the attack yesterday at the Zam Zam camp near the Darfur city of El Fasher, the UN mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said. One of the assailants was killed.

Ibrahim Gambari, the UNAMID chief and UN special envoy to Darfur, strongly condemned the attack, which he called a “war crime”.

The nationalities of the three dead – two soldiers and one police adviser – were not immediately given but all were from African nations, which supply all the forces in the mission.

UNAMID says 33 peacekeepers have been killed in Darfur since the force was deployed in 2007 in a bid to halt hostilities between rebels and the Khartoum government. Another peacekeeper was slain in July.

The UN says at least 300,000 people have died since the uprising started in 2003. More than 200,000 people displaced by the conflict live at the Zam Zam camp, according to the Save Darfur group.

Mr Gambari called on Sudanese authorities to immediately mount a full investigation.

“An attack on international peacekeepers is a war crime and we will ensure that justice will be served,” he said.

“The UNAMID patrol was a regular nightly patrol of unarmed police advisers and armed military escorts. Their mission was to protect civilians. For that they paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Mr Gambari said.

“This deplorable incident will not deter UNAMID’s strong commitment to its mission to protect the people of Darfur.”

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