Darfur Town Laid to Waste
Village is razed in apparent payback for strike against AU base
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2007 7:13 PM CDT
In this photo made available Monday Oct. 1, 2007, by African Mission in Sudan, an African Union (AMIS) soldier holds an African Union flag as he stands at the damaged Haskanita military camp, in Haskanita,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Only a school and mosque were left standing in a Darfur town after attackers recently torched and looted it, leaving 7,000 villagers homeless, the BBC reports. Rebels blame the government for the strike, saying it was payback for last week's bloody raid on an African Union base. The UN reports that only a few ex-residents were seen returning to the town, called Haskanita, looking for food and water.

A UN commander blamed last month's base attack, which left 10 peacekeepers dead, on a rebel faction that "broke away from a faction called SLA United." At least a dozen such groups threaten Darfur's residents, who are protected by only 7,000 AU troops. That force will be joined by 21,000 more next year to comprise the world's largest peacekeeping army.