The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed Saturday the release of 31 civilians kidnapped last week by the rebels in Sudan's Darfur region.
"Thirty-one civilians were released today by the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid in Darfur, Sudan," the ICRC said in a statement, adding that the ICRC facilitated their handover to the Sudanese authorities.
A group of internally displaced persons (IDPs) was abducted on March 24 while travelling from Zalingay to Nyala, capital of South Darfur State, to attend an IDP conference, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, spokesperson of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Aicha Elbasri told Xinhua that "no one of UNAMID peacekeepers was abducted or harmed during this incident."
UNAMID took over the peacekeeping mission in Darfur from the African Union Mission in Sudan on Dec. 31, 2007. But the mission has encountered repeated attacks by unidentified gunmen in the region, which has led to the death of at least 34 peacekeepers and kidnapping of a number of its personnel in the past five years.