The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday condemned the killing of three of its truck drivers in the violence-stricken western Sudanese region of Darfur.
Two of the men were killed on Tuesday in south Darfur as they were returning from delivering supplies near the scene of an attack on an African Union base, which killed 10 peacekeepers last month, according to a WFP statement.
The third driver was killed on Friday during the Muslim holiday of Eid, on his way to north Darfur, the agency said, adding that 25 bags of grain were looted from the truck during the incident.
"WFP is deeply saddened and shocked by the killings of these brave men, who knew the dangers they were facing but continued to work tirelessly to alleviate suffering and bring food to the hungry in Darfur," said Kenro Oshidari, WFP Sudan representative, who received confirmation of the incidents on Wednesday.
The three drivers were contracted by WFP, which distributes emergency food aid to around three million people in Darfur, its largest operation worldwide.
The agency did not identify the drivers or their nationalities and said it had no information on who is behind the killings.
Attacks against humanitarian workers are frequent in Darfur where a four-year civil war has killed at least 200 000 people and displaced two million others. Khartoum contests the figure and says only 9 000 have died in the conflict. -- AFP