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Darfur village attacked, peacekeepers barred

International peacekeepers in Sudan's North Darfur state say local government forces have prevented a convoy from inspecting a village where 13 people were allegedly killed on Friday.

The joint African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said its verification team was turned back before it could reach the village of Sigili. It lies 30 kilometers southeast of North Darfur's state capital El Fasher.

Several hundred people attending a funeral procession had brought 10 bodies to the UNAMID headquarters in El Fasher, a mission spokeswoman said.

Tribal clash presumed

Sudan's news agency SUNA, in a brief dispatch, said 10 people had been killed and 10 were missing after what it called a tribal clash.

An unnamed sourced quoted by the news agency AFP said: "Basically it was a tribal clash between local militia and Zaghawa," one of Darfur's main tribes.

A United Nations report issued in July said civilians in North Darfur were increasingly at risk from inter-communal fighting over land use and sporadic clashes between rebel and government troops.

In September, the United States said more than 70 civilians died in the Hasbaba area northwest of El Fasher during clashes. At the time, UNAMID was also prevented from reaching that area.

The United Nations says an estimated 1.7 million people are still living in camps for the displaced, nine years after ethnic African rebels rose up against Sudan's Arab-dominated government based in Khartoum.

ipj/ch (AFP, AP)

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