Abducted Aid Workers Freed in Darfur

Captives said to be safe, healthy; Sudan blames bandits
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2009 1:29 PM CDT
In this April 1, 2008, file photo provided by French humanitarian organization "Medecins Sans Frontieres" (Doctors Without Borders), people line up for a measles vaccination in southern Sudan.   (AP Photo/Kevin P.Q. Phelan)
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(Newser) – The three Doctors Without Borders workers nabbed in Darfur three days ago have been released, the BBC reports. Both the UN and the doctors' group confirmed that the captives—a French administrator, a Canadian nurse, and an Italian doctor—are free. “They are safe. They are all right,” said a Sudanese spokesman. “They are still in Darfur, but they will be transferred to Khartoum.”

The three were seized in a government-controlled town. The government has been cracking down on international aid groups lately, but Khartoum blames armed bandits seeking a ransom. Doctors Without Borders (or Medecins Sans Frontieres), isn’t among the groups ordered to leave the country, but on Thursday it pulled all its teams out of Darfur, sending them to Khartoum.