Sudan trying to contact kidnappers

KHARTOUM: Sudanese authorities were on Saturday trying to establish contact with kidnappers who snatched two foreign aid workers from their offices in Darfur, a foreign ministry official said.

Gunmen kidnapped the Irish and Ugandan women from the office of their Irish aid group Goal in the North Darfur city of Kutum on Friday night. A Sudanese watchman was also seized before being released later.

"We have not established contact yet," said Ali Yusef, director of protocol at the foreign ministry. "Normally in this situation they move away from the scene" before making contact.

Flora Hills, the head of Goal in Sudan, confirmed the relief group had not yet been contacted about the abduction.

Friday's kidnapping was the third such act directed at foreign aid workers since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on March 4 for Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Previous kidnappings ended peacefully with the hostages being released.