41 held as ‘enough explosives to blow up Khartoum’ seized in Sudan
Sudan’s Attorney General Tajelsir El Hibir says that 41 people “belonging to terrorist cluster cells” have been arrested during the seizure of large quantities of explosives “enough to blow up the entire capital Khartoum”.
El Hibir said in a press conference on Wednesday that the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) informed the prosecution about trade in explosives at several locations.
After further investigations, under the supervision of the Prosecution, members of the General Security Service (GIS), Military Intelligence, and the RSF, in cooperation with the police, raided 18 locations, which resulted in the seizure of explosives including TNT, and ammonium nitrate.
“The seized explosives pose an alarming security risk to Sudan and neighbouring countries,” he said,
RSF spokesperson Brig Gen Jamal Juma said during the press briefing that the RSF monitored “cells trafficking in such explosives” from August 19 to September 13, after which 41 suspects were arrested.
The joint forces seized 3,594 detonation capsules, a detonation cord, and four sacks containing ammonium nitrate.
Most of the explosives, of which a large part has been dismantled, were manufactured outside Khartoum. Some were smuggled into the country.
Initial questioning revealed that the manufacturer sells one capsule for SDG3,000*. It is sold at the market for SDG15,000, which makes it a profitable trade, Juma said.
The seized explosives are similar to those used in an attempt to blow-up the motorcade of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok in March.
On March 9, Hamdok survived an attack on his vehicle in Khartoum. The authorities however have not disclosed the results of the investigations in which the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) participated.
Juma warned of the transfer of large quantities of explosives to neighbouring countries. “We fear that we will once again be classified as a state sponsor of terrorism,” he added.
“It must be stressed that these explosives are intended for civilian activities and not be used in sabotage activity,” the militia spokesman said.
The Director of Criminal Evidence at the Ministry of Interior, Brig Gen Alaaeldin Abdeljalil said that ammonium nitrate is sold in Khartoum, “but if it is misused it becomes very dangerous, as happened in the Beirut port explosion”.
He explained that terrorists are using ammonium nitrate as a basic explosive. It was also found among the large quantity of explosive materials found in East Nile locality in Khartoum North in February this year.
Ammonium nitrate is predominantly destined for used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertiliser. It is also a component of explosives used in mining, quarrying, and civil construction.
* USD 1 = SDG 55.1375 at the time of publishing this article. As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily middle US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS). The greenback traded SDG260 at the parallel market in Khartoum on September 10.
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