KHARTOUM, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Sudanese Army on Tuesday denied that a Russian helicopter was seized in Darfur, but acknowledged that four Russians and five Sudanese who were aboard the helicopter were missing.
Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced that rebels in Sudan's Darfur region on Monday seized a Russian UT air helicopter with four Russian crew and five Sudanese on board.
"This plane took off from El Fasher airport in North Darfur State and it was supposed to land at Kas airport in South Darfur, but for unknown reasons, it landed at another place some 11 km from the airport," Sudanese Army spokesman Al-Sawarmy Khalid Saad told Xinhua.
"The plane could not take off from its mistaken landing place because of the mud; a military force arrived to secure it, but its passengers are missing," he added.
"They might have lost their way or might have tried to reach somewhere else. We cannot confirm if they were abducted."
The Russian Foreign Ministry said no one aboard the helicopter was hurt and stated that the Russian embassy in Khartoum was taking measures to ascertain the situation.
The UT air helicopter is working in Sudan under contract with the United Nations to serve the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).