More than 50 government soldiers were killed in battle while dozens of others were injured, according to reports from South Darfur. The battle raged near the railway line yesterday, at Khor Ta’an area, which lies along the road between Ed Daein and Nyala, the largest city in Darfur.
JEM rebels initiated the battle by attacking a convoy carrying fuel and supplies, the interior minister said in Khartoum. The convoy was guarded by a force known locally as ‘Abu Tira,’ and officially as the Central Reserve forces. Witnesses in Nyala said that tens of wounded from the government forces were transferred to hospitals in Nyala , while the morgue filled with dead bodies.
A statement issued by the Police Forces and quoted by the state news agency explained that the Central Police Reserve lost a number of men but defeated the attackers. The statement said that “the police force is still chasing remnants of the defeated rebels at the area after inflicting heavy losses in lives and vehicles on them.”
Abubakar Hamid Nour, the administrative coordinator of the Justice and Equality Movement, said that an administrative convoy of the movement consisting of 120 Land Cruisers encountered the government forces and defeated them. The remnants fled to Nyala, he claimed, while JEM captured a number of prisoners. Radio Dabanga tried to contact the spokesman of the Sudanese army for comment, but his mobile phone was switched off.Another JEM commander, Suleiman Sandal told Reuters news agency that the government had initiated the fighting. “We have only a few injured,” he said.
The state news agency SUNA said that the rebels were desperate and aim “to practice banditry and loot and terrorize the citizens.”