Doctors Without Borders Staffers Kidnapped in Darfur

Abductions follow Sudan crackdown
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2009 9:02 AM CDT
Vehicles are seen in front of the offices of Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medicins Sans Frontiers, in Khartoum, Sudan Thursday, March 12, 2009.    (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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(Newser) – Three aid workers from Doctors Without Borders are being held hostage in Darfur after a group of armed men kidnapped them, Reuters reports. The three staff members, all Westerners, were seized along with two Sudanese co-workers who were later released. The kidnapping came as Sudan cracks down on NGOs in Darfur after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan ordered 16 aid organizations, including two arms of Doctors Without Borders, to leave the country after the warrant was issued. MSF identified the hostages as a Canadian nurse, an Italian doctor, and a French coordinator. The kidnapping took place deep in north Darfur, where the Belgian arm of MSF runs a health clinic that serves tens of thousands of people.