Sudan governor says 2 Russian pilots held by Darfur gunmen have been freed

A Sudanese governor says that two Russian pilots who were held by gunmen in the country’s restive western Darfur region since January have been freed, and that no ransom was paid.

Gov. Shartay Jaafar Abdul Hakam said in a statement released on Saturday the two had been working for the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur, or UNAMID, when they were abducted by an unidentified armed group on January 29 while heading from a market to the mission base in Zalenge town.

55-year-old Sergei Cherepanov and 34-year-old Mikhail Antyufeev, met the media in Khartoum, Sudan, June 6, 2015. Two freed Russian pilots arrived in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Saturday

The Governor explained that the kidnapping was caused by financial ambitions only.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to Sudan expressed his thanks to the Sudanese authorities, praising the process of the release of the abductees

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