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Two wounded in chase, hijack in South Darfur capital

July 7 - 2015 NYALA
A Unamid car in Khor Abeche, South Darfur, visibly damaged after being ambushed, when seven peacekeepers were killed in July 2013 (Unamid)
A Unamid car in Khor Abeche, South Darfur, visibly damaged after being ambushed, when seven peacekeepers were killed in July 2013 (Unamid)

The driver of a mini-bus belonging to the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (Unamid) was shot by gunmen during a chase in Nyala on Sunday. The peacekeeping mission reported that a pregnant woman passing by was hit by the mini-bus, but managed to give birth to her baby through a C-section in the Unamid hospital that day.

A witness told Radio Dabanga that the gunmen chased the mini-bus with their vehicle on Sunday afternoon at El Matar street. The chase started at the Banks complex in Nyala, South Darfur's capital. The men opened fire on the mini-bus driver, shooting him in the arm, but he did not pull over. “The driver then lost control of the mini-bus and ran over a pregnant woman on the road. She has been taken to the hospital, in a critical condition.” The witness added that the shooting has frightened passers-by, and residents in the neighbourhood.

Unamid commented to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday that the Sudanese staff member who drove the mini-bus was travelling alone and without armed escort on the Nyala airport road, when the assailants opened fire, injuring him in the left hand:

"Due to the wound sustained, the driver lost control of the minibus, which veered off the road, accidentally hitting a pregnant woman. Government of Sudan Police took both the injured driver and the woman to Nyala Teaching Hospital. Later, they were both transferred to the Unamid hospital at the Mission’s base in Nyala. The driver was treated and discharged while the woman, who suffered some bruising on her legs and arms, gave birth to a baby girl through Caesarean section. Both the mother and the child are doing well and remained under the Mission doctors’ observation for 48 hours."

The mission stated that the Sudanese police has informed them that three armed suspects involved in the previous day’s attempted carjacking were arrested, and the vehicle used by the assailants during the incident, along with weapons and some contraband drugs, recovered.

In April this year, a vehicle belonging to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) was hijacked in Nyala. The curfew, imposed as one of the city's security measures in July 2014, is changed to 12am since the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

In another incident in Nyala, militiamen hijacked a vehicle in El Jamahiriya district. The owner had left the vehicle near the mosque where he went to pray.

The authorities in Nyala planned to install surveillance cameras in the streets in June.

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