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Relief worker shot dead in Darfur

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on his return from Eritrea to Khartoum on 23 March 2009
Tensions have risen in Darfur since the warrant for Sudan's leader

A Sudanese worker with a Canadian aid agency has been shot dead in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The man was killed by gunmen who called at his home on Monday night demanding his satellite phone in the West Darfur town of Kongo Haraza.

The Fellowship of African Relief (FAR) charity named the dead employee as 39-year-old Adam Khatir.

Tensions have risen in Darfur since an arrest warrant was issued on 4 March for Sudan's President Omar-al Bashir.

Mark Simmons, of FAR, told Reuters news agency: "They came to his house at 9pm on Monday and when they didn't find a phone there they shot him. He was shot dead."

President Bashir ordered 13 foreign aid agencies out of the region shortly after the International Criminal Court indictment.

It is not the first time a Canadian aid agency employee has been targeted since then.

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Earlier this month, a Canadian woman was among three foreign staff of Medecins Sans Frontieres kidnapped at gunpoint in Darfur and later freed by a gang calling themselves "Bashir's Eagles".

There has also been a surge in car-jackings and ambushes targeting the joint UN/African Union peacekeeping force.

Sudan recently said foreign aid groups, which carry out the bulk of humanitarian work in Darfur, would no longer be allowed to work on the ground in a year's time.

Khartoum said Sudanese aid agencies would take over.

The US state department recently warned the decision was endangering the lives of 1.4 million refugees.

The UN has said that the effects of the expulsions were already being felt, with feeding for malnourished children not taking place and un-serviced water pumps likely to break down.

Some 2.7 million people are receiving aid in Darfur after being forced from their homes.



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