Seven peacekeepers from the joint UN/African Union mission have been killed in an attack in Darfur.

22 others were injured, seven of them critically.

The attackers ambushed the UNAMID convoy yesterday at Um Hakibah in North Darfur State, southwest of the peacekeeping mission's headquarters in El Fasher.

The peacekeepers were attacked while returning from following up allegations by the Mini Minnawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Army, which signed a 2006 peace deal with the Khartoum government, that two of the former rebels had been killed. 

UNAMID commanders have urged the international community to provide troops quickly to reinforce the mission.

At the UN in New York, spokeswoman Michele Montas said the attack lasted two hours and the assailants used heavy weapons.

It was the worst direct attack on UNAMID forces since it began work on 31 December.