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FRESH CLASHES IN DARFUR KILL DOZENS OF CIVILIANS, UN-AFRICAN UNION MISSION REPORTS

By UN

7 September - More than 50 people have been killed and many more have been injured in clashes in Darfur amid rising tensions in the troubled region of western Sudan, the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force reports.

At least 50 died in the remote North Darfur village of Tabarat on Thursday after an unidentified armed group attacked a marketplace that afternoon, according to information relayed to the mission, known as UNAMID.

In a separate incident in West Darfur state, six residents of the Hamadiya camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) near the town of Zalingei died early on Saturday during a protracted firefight in the camp overnight. Another 20 IDPs were injured.

UNAMID dispatched a military team to assess the situation and three medical personnel have been treating the wounded. The mission has also reinforced its presence in the area.

Conflict between Government forces, allied Janjaweed militiamen and rebel groups has raged on and off for seven years in Darfur, an arid region bordering Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR). Inter-tribal clashes and the splintering of the rebel groups have also hampered efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

An estimated 300,000 people have died since 2003 and another 2.7 million people live either as IDPs or as refugees in neighbouring countries.

In late July deadly clashes broke out at the large Kalma IDP camp in South Darfur and there have also been several abductions or attacks against UNAMID personnel and aid workers across the region in recent weeks.