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Sudanese troops fires on UN convoy in Darfur in apparent case of mistaken identity

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Posted: January 8, 2008 2:14 p.m.
Updated: January 23, 2008 7:49 a.m.
    KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudanese troops shot at a United Nations convoy in Darfur, apparently mistaking it for a group of rebels in the first attack against the peacekeeping mission since it began this month, U.N. officials said Tuesday.
    A Sudanese driver was critically injured in the shooting on the supply convoy, which destroyed a fuel tanker truck and damaged an armored personnel carrier, protected by South African peacekeepers, which occured late Monday near Sudan’s volatile border with Chad, the U.N. mission, known as UNAMID, said in a statement.
    A U.N. peacekeeper stationed near the site of the attack said a Sudanese army unit apparently mistook the South African peacekeepers for Darfur rebels who also operate in the area.
    ‘‘It was nighttime, it seems the (Sudanese) soldiers lost their calm,’’ the peacekeeper said.
    A senior official with the joint African Union-U.N. mission, known as UNAMID, gave a similar account. He said the soldiers stopped shooting after 10 minutes and let the peacekeepers go. Both the peacekeeper and the official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the incident with the media.
    The U.N. could not immediately comment on who was involved in the attack, but said in a statement it ‘‘is in direct consultations and discussion with Sudanese authorities ... over the matter.’’ There was no immediate Sudanese government comment.
    Head of mission Rodolphe Adada consulted with Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Tuesday afternoon and both sides have ‘‘agreed to launch an urgent investigation,’’ UNAMID spokesman Noureddine Mezni told The Associated Press.

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