Sudan condemns UN Darfur attack
Sudan has now officially blamed rebel groups for at attack on the United Nations-African Uion peace mission in Darfur. Seven peacekeepers were killed in that attack.
Sudan's foreign ministry condemned the attack, and urged Western governments to deal more firmly with Darfur rebels.
UN officials have said they suspect the government-backed Janjaweed militia were responsible for the assault, which also left 22 troops wounded.
The two main rebel groups have denied any involvement.
In a statement, Sudan's foreign ministry said the aim of rebels had been to "destabilise the region and prove it is not safe", state media reported.
It said government troops, who arrived at the scene later, believed that the attack was carried out by the SLM-Unity rebel faction.
The UN says its peacekeepers fought for over two hours to repulse the rebel fighters, who were armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
Correspondents say the UN-AU mission, which began work this year, lacks the military hardware, including attack helicopters, needed to operate effectively in a region roughly the size of France.
Khartoum, which wants predominantly African peacekeepers, has been accused of slowing down the deployment of the force by repeatedly raising objections.
UN spokeswoman condemns the killings
Only 10,000 of a planned 26,000-strong peacekeeping force have been deployed.
About 40 armoured vehicles ambushed the peace force while it was on patrol in North Darfur on Wednesday.
Some background on the situation:
Seven UN peacekeepers, 5 Rwandans, a Ghanaian and a Ugandan, lost their life in an ambush orchestrated by armed militia in Darfur, Sudan. It was the deadliest attack since September 2007 when ten peacekeepers were killed by unknown men. Attacks on UN workers have increased in Central-East Africa, the UN peacekeeping troops experiencing causalities in the last month in Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite having up to 70% of its population making a living out of farming, the rising food prices have affected Africa as well. Millions are victims of food shortages and Africans would be starving had not been for the international food aid that has been alleviating the situation in some parts of Africa. Food shortage is considered one of the reasons why attacks on civilians, UN officials or UN peacekeepers have intensified in the last month.