Airstrike kills at least 22 in Khartoum

Smoke rises during clashes between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), in Omdurman, Sudan, July 4, 2023

Fighting for control of the capital has been going on since April 15, including on Tuesday when this photo was taken

A Sudanese army airstrike on the capital left at least 22 people dead and scores injured, witnesses and an official said.

Women and children were among the victims, eyewitnesses told the BBC.

The airstrike hit the Dar es Salaam district of Omdurman, on the opposite bank of the Nile to the capital Khartoum, early on Saturday.

The army and a paramilitary force have been fighting for control of the capital since April.

The conflict began after army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) chief General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo fell out over the country’s future.

A Khartoum state health official quoted by Reuters news agency said at least 22 people were killed in Saturday’s airstrike, while RSF said the toll was up. of 31 dead.

The paramilitary group added in a statement that the strike had “caused significant destruction of homes”.

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The RSF control much of Khartoum and its twin cities of Omdurman and Bahri. The army carried out frequent artillery and air attacks in an attempt to dislodge paramilitary fighters. But it is believed Saturday’s strike could have resulted in one of the highest death tolls from a single attack.

Twelve weeks of conflict have terrified the civilian population of the capital. Shops and markets are rarely open and almost all medical facilities have closed.

The clashes have spread beyond the city, including in the western region of Darfur which has seen an outbreak of ethnic violence.

Across the country, hundreds of people have been killed and nearly three million people have been driven from their homes.

There were partially successful attempts to achieve temporary ceasefires, but these never lasted long.

East Africa’s regional bloc Igad is trying to restart peace talks at a summit in Ethiopia on Monday.

But a spokesman for General Burhan said he would not attend the meeting.

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