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Gunmen kill one in attack on UN compound in Sudan

Written by: Staff
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KHARTOUM, Mar 16 (Reuters) Two gunmen attacked a compound of the UN refugee agency UNHCR in southern Sudan, killing a local guard and wounding an Iraqi logistics officer and another guard, the agency today said.

The Iraqi, who has been operated on twice, and the wounded local guard, whose life is not in danger, have been evacuated from southern Sudan and are about to land in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, UNHCR spokeswoman Helene Caux said in Geneva.

''We are evaluating the situation and discussing relocating some of the staff from Yei to Nairobi,'' she added.

In the attack yesterday night, the Iraqi staff member was shot in the abdomen while the second guard was shot in the leg, UNHCR said in a statement. One of the gunmen was killed while the other was in detention in Yei, Caux said.

The UNHCR has been preparing for the return of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees from surrounding countries after a peace deal between the government and southern rebels in January 2005, which ended two decades of war.

Because of the attack, UNHCR suspended plans to start repatriating Sudanese refugees next week from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Yei region, the statement said.

''This attack just underscores the difficulties UNHCR faces in our operations in south Sudan where we are trying to create an environment for thousands of refugees in neighbouring countries to be able to return home and stay home,'' said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

REUTERS OM KP2234

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