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Police in eastern Sudan release 47 abducted refugees

June 29 - 2015 KASSALA
Eritrean asylum seekers in an eastern Sudanese camp (file photo)
Eritrean asylum seekers in an eastern Sudanese camp (file photo)

47 abducted refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia were released by police forces in Kassala state, eastern Sudan, on Saturday.

A human right activist from Kassala reported to Radio Dabanga that the police forces clashed with elements of a human trafficking gang near Kassala town on Saturday afternoon.

After a gunfight that lasted more than three hours, the police managed to set free 47 Eritreans and Ethiopians locked inside two lorries. Seven human traffickers were arrested.

Eastern Sudan is known to be a hotspot for human traffickers. They systematically abduct Eritreans and Ethiopians from refugee camps in the region. The asylum seekers are then sold to criminal gangs in the Sinai, Egypt, and subjected to torture, in order to pressure their relatives to pay large sums of money for their release.

Human rights organisations have repeatedly accused Sudanese officials of being involved in the trafficking of refugees. 

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