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Sudan's deadly bombing raid on village in Darfur

Annan disturbed by reports of Sudan's deadly bombing raid on village in Darfur

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today he was deeply disturbed by reports that Sudanese Government airplanes have bombed a village in the north of the war-scarred Darfur region, killing or injuring as many as 100 people.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan described the attack as "the latest in a series of grave ceasefire violations that have resulted in a large number of civilian casualties, the displacement of thousands of people, and severe access restrictions for relief workers."

Monitors from the African Union (AU) reported that the Sudanese air force bombed the village of Rahad Kabolong, near the town of Shangil Tobaya in North Darfur state, on Wednesday. UN humanitarian agencies have declared the location around Rahad Kabolong to be a "no-go" area for their staff until further notice.

Mr. Annan urged both the Government in Khartoum and the rebel movements in Darfur, which took up arms against the Sudanese Government in early 2003, to comply fully with their commitments under the ceasefire agreement they struck last year.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 1.8 million others forced from their homes because of the conflict in Darfur, an impoverished and isolated region the size of France on Sudan's western flank.

Meanwhile, Jan Pronk, Mr. Annan's Special Representative for Sudan, has wrapped up a brief visit to Darfur, where he met AU officials, local community representatives, aid workers and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

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