KHARTOUM, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Four Ethiopian soldiers were killed on Tuesday in Sudan's Abyei region due to explosion of a landmine on a vehicle belonging to the Ethiopian Peacekeeping mission, which has started its deployment in the area.
An anonymous Sudanese source in the Abyei area told Xinhua via phone that "four soldiers were killed and seven others were injured due to detonation of a landmine southeast of Abyei."
The source, who used to be a high-ranking official in the former regional authorities disbanded by the Sudanese government on the eve of the independence of South Sudan on July 9, said the injured soldiers were in "serious" condition.
"The injuries of six of the wounded soldiers are serious. The incident took place at 1:00 p.m. Sudan local time (1100 GMT), some 13 km south of the Abyei town," the source said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was reported on Tuesday to have expressed sadness over the death of the four soldiers of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
On June 28, the UN Security Council issued a resolution stipulating sending of 4,200 Ethiopian soldiers as a peacekeeping mission to Abyei region as part of an agreement reached by Sudan and South Sudan.
Last June, Khartoum signed an agreement with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), which is currently governing South Sudan, stipulating declaration of Abyei as a demilitarized area and allowing deployment of an interim security force of Ethiopian soldiers.
On May 21, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) took control of Abyei in response to an attack by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) against a SAF convoy, escorted by UN peacekeepers. The attack resulted in death of 22 SAF soldiers.