Militia kills three in hospital in second assault on Um Kheir, Central Darfur

UPDATE 21:00: Three civilians are killed by pro-government militiamen inside a hospital, in their second assault on a village in Wadi Salih. The death toll has risen to four in less than a day, following an attempt by the militiamen to spring their comrades from the police station.

In the second attack by militiamen in Um Kheir on Thursday, three people were killed inside a hospital, in addition to the killing of a woman earlier that day. Four people were injured during the militiamen's latest attack, too.

The death toll in the village in Wadi Salih locality, in Central Darfur state, has risen to four in less than a day.

The pro-government militiamen returned to Um Kheir, 32 km west of Garsila, late that evening, and opened fire on the people inside the local hospital. They killed Ismail Arbab Abdelrahman (20 years) and Abdelaziz Ahmed Bakhit (62 years), while Amna Ishag Basha died on Friday morning from her injuries, one of their relatives told Radio Dabanga. Four other people in the hospital were wounded during the attack.

The relative added that the the same militiamen, led by a man called Mohamed Sila, killed Maryam Ishag Adam during their assault on the police station on Thursday afternoon. Four villagers who tried to intervene, were injured. The militiamen attempted to spring two gunmen who had beaten a man earlier that day.

A witness said that the militiamen, at least a dozen, after their attack on the hospital, set fire to over 20 acres planted with winter crops. In addition, they stole more than 60 livestock animals such as goats and sheep. They were riding on camels, horses, and motorcycles.

The eight wounded villagers are transferred to the hospital in Garsila for treatment. The four dead are buried. Abdelaziz Ahmed Bakhit is the brother of one of the high-ranking local leaders (shartai) of Garsila. The authorities have sent a force from Garsila to Um Kheir to contain the situation, according to a witness yesterday.

The attacks by Mohamed Sila's fighters started after two pro-government militiamen were taken into police custody following their beating of a villager who was building a fence for his house. “The armed relatives of the militiamen besieged the station, and fired shots into the air in an attempt to [force the policemen to] release the militants,” a witness told Dabanga yesterday. The residents of Um Kheir confronted the gunmen, after which they opened fire on them, killing Maryam Adam.