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12,000 refugees flee Darfur for Chad

UN says the villagers are 'terrified'
February 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The U.N. refugee agency says it's scrambling to get aid to thousands of stranded villagers fleeing Sudan's Darfur region to neighboring Chad. The agency says up to 12,000 refugees have gathered in a border city after air strikes by the Sudanese military on three towns in West Darfur. Several U.N. resolutions ban military flights over the region, but the Sudanese military has regularly ignored them.

A spokeswoman describes the refugees as "destitute and terrified." She says they are telling stories of villages being encircled by militia, looted and burned.

The agency says most of the refugees so far are men, and those men are telling U.N. officials that "thousands of women and children are on their way" to Chad.

U.N. officials say the worsening situation in Darfur has been exacerbated by a recent rebel attack on the capital of Chad.


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