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Seven killed as Darfur rebels clash with government

Seven killed as Darfur rebels clash with government

Fighting between Darfur rebels and government forces near the northern town of Kutum has killed seven people and insurgents said yesterday they shot down two army helicopters in the area.
Despite a May peace deal, violence has increased in Sudan's remote west after rebels who reject the accord formed a military alliance and renewed hostilities with the government.
"The government troops and Janjaweed militia attacked our positions and then attacked a village, killing five men and ... two women," Darfur rebel commander Jar el-Neby told Reuters via satellite telephone.
He said the government and their allied militia, known locally as Janjaweed, attacked rebel positions near Kutum three days ago and the village of el-Goba, about 16 kilometers east of Kutum town, on Friday.
In a separate statement sent to Reuters yesterday, Darfur rebel official Esam el-Din Hajj said the insurgents had shot down two army helicopters during the clashes.
An army spokesman confirmed heavy clashes with the rebel National Redemption Front but denied the attack on the village and that any helicopters or planes had been shot down.
"We did not use any helicopters or planes during the clashes so of course they could not shoot them down," the spokesman said.
"Four soldiers were killed and around 20-25 injured," he said.
He said the NRF had lost many troops and vehicles and eventually retreated. A U.N. bulletin yesterday said reports indicated a government helicopter and an Antonov plane had bombed three nearby villages.
A police report yesterday said an attack had killed four policemen in Darfur's main town of el-Fasher. It was not clear who had attacked them but the town has been the scene of clashes between armed groups in recent weeks.
Experts estimate 200,000 have been killed and 2.5 million driven from their homes in Darfur.


Updated : 2021-08-04 15:11 GMT+08:00