Three foreigners including a S.African arrested in Sudan.

Foreigners jailed for entering the oil-producing country area illegally.

Sudanese flag

KHARTOUM - Sudan said it had arrested a Briton, a Norwegian and a South African on Saturday, for illegally entering an oil-producing border area with a soldier from South Sudan.

The three were detained in part of the disputed Heglig border area, the scene of recent fighting between Sudan and South Sudan, said Mohammed Jadallah, spokesperson for the Sudanese Defence Ministry.

He said the three had been travelling in two cars that contained military equipment and were flown by Sudanese authorities to Khartoum.

No further details were immediately available.

A British embassy official declined to comment while the embassies of Norway and South Africa could not be immediately reached.

South Sudan's army had occupied Heglig earlier this month but announced a withdrawal more than a week ago, bowing to pressure from the United Nations Security Council.

More than three weeks of border fighting between Sudan and South Sudan has brought the African neighbours close to an all-out war, nine months after the South split from the north.