August 30, 2006

Red Cross worker killed in Darfur

GENEVA (Reuters) - A Sudanese national working for the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who was
abducted in Sudan's Darfur region by an armed group two weeks
ago, is dead, the humanitarian agency said on Wednesday.

The Swiss-based agency said that it had not yet recovered
the body of the 31-year-old man, who was not named, nor had it
any details of how he was killed.

He was the first ICRC staff member to die in Darfur, where
tens of thousands of people have been killed and 2.5 million
forced from their homes since a revolt began in early 2003.

"The ICRC is shocked by his death, which comes amid a
deterioration in security conditions in Darfur that has claimed
the lives of other humanitarian workers in recent weeks," the
agency said in a statement.

The man was abducted east of the Jebel Marra mountains in
north Darfur on August 16 after an ICRC team was stopped by an
armed group -- also not identified in the statement.

The team had been distributing food and the man was forced
to drive one of two vehicles stolen in the attack, the agency

Eleven aid workers have been killed in rising violence
since a May peace deal between the Sudanese government and one
of three rebel groups active in the vast region the size of

Agencies involved in the world's largest humanitarian
operation complain that fighting between rebel factions as well
as with government forces, and increased banditry, has left
huge swathes of land out of reach.