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SUDAN : 13 killed in clashes in eastern towns

4/13/2006 12:32am

April 13, 2006, 46 minutes and 26 seconds ago.

By Andnetwork .com

Eleven civilians and two attackers died in a raid by ethnic minority rebels on two government-held towns in eastern Sudan, a military spokesman said Wednesday.

Brigadier Mohammed Osman al-Aghbash blamed Tuesday's assault on the towns of Wagar and Nete in Kassala State near the Eritrean border on fighters of the area's Beja minority backed by fellow rebels from the restive western region of Darfur.

"The enemy entered Wagar town driving scores of vehicles with mounted weapons, torched the police station and a parked car, rendered the Sudatel (Sudan Telecom Company) office out of action and assaulted the market and the security office before withdrawing towards the border," the spokesman said.

"Six civilians were martyred in the attack on Wagar."

Aghbash said that the rebels also killed five employees of a firm working on a development project in the surrounding Gash valley district.

The official SUNA news agency said a further three of the firm's staff were missing.

The army spokesman said the bodies of two rebel fighters were also found when the force withdrew to the border.

He made no mention of any dead on the government side even though he said troop reinforcements and air support had been sent to the area to counter the attack.

Rebels of the Beja Congress first took up arms against the Arab-dominated regime in Khartoum in 1994. They merged with another smaller rebel group in February last year to form a combined Eastern Front.

Peace talks with the government were due to start in January but have been postponed
several times.

Source : Relief Web

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