Four peacekeepers have been killed and eight wounded in an ambush in Sudan’s western Darfur region, according to the joint UN-African Union mission Unamid.

The troops, who were from Nigeria, were attacked about 2km (1.5 miles) from mission headquarters in the town of El Geneina, Unamid said.

Their convoy came under fire from several directions, a spokesman said.

More than 16,000 Unamid troops are currently based in Darfur, tasked with protecting civilians since 2007.

The ambush happened on Tuesday night, Unamid said. It urged Sudan’s government to prosecute the gunmen.

Violence in Darfur has come down from its peak after civil war broke out in 2003, but there are still clashes between government forces, rebels and rival ethnic groups.

Armed robbers and bandits are also at large in western Darfur, taking advantage of the area’s lack of security.

Last month dozens of people were reportedly left dead after Sudanese forces clashed with rebels in Darfur.BBC