Darfur rebels accuse Sudan of mounting major attack

Darfur rebels on Wednesday accused the Sudan government of mounting a massive attack to wipe out their strongholds in the far north of the region, where they are losing ground for the first time.

Three days ago, government soldiers in about 270 vehicles staged a ground assault on Atrun, a remote area in North Darfur state and another location, pushing out elements from the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), one rebel commander said.

“All these areas, we controlled since 2003. But now they are coming and attacking and now they are in the control of the government,” said Suleiman Marajan from the SLA faction led by the exiled Abdel Wahid Mohammed Nur.

Marajan said eight civilians and nine SLA rebels were killed.

He charged that government forces were poised to launch further attacks to reclaim other rebel territory in North Darfur state.

A spokesperson for the Sudanese army stopped short of an explicit denial, refusing to comment on “any statements from Darfur rebels”.—AFP

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