Nine dead in militia attacks, protests in West Darfur

UPDATED 23:00 (footage) Six villagers and three militiamen were killed in West Darfur today. One of the victims was shot dead by government forces during a protest in the capital El Geneina against militia attacks.

Six villagers and three militiamen were killed in West Darfur today. One of the victims was shot dead by government forces during a protest against militia attacks in the capital El Geneina. The Governor of West Darfur denied the occurence of any casualties.

The people of Mouli village, south of El Geneina, took to the streets of the capital this (Sunday) morning in protest against the rampant insecurity in the area.

Residents of El Geneina joined the villagers who came on their mules, and called on the authorities to act and provide protection against the repeated militia attacks in the area, one of the protesters told Radio Dabanga.

The demonstration led to the closure of El Geneina Market, as the number of protesters grew. They proceeded to the government buildings, set fire to one of them, and attacked the residence of the governor.

Police and security agents fired on the protesters with live ammunition, he reported. One villager was killed, and at least four others were injured, two of them seriously.

Village attacked

The problems started for the people of Mouli village when a militiaman was found killed on a farm nearby on Friday. Though the villagers denied any involvement, his relatives stormed the village on Saturday. Two villagers were injured.

The attackers plundered the village, and abducted a village elder, another villager, and a policeman.

The militiamen returned this (Sunday) morning, and killed two people inside the village. They then intercepted a group of people from Mouli who were on their way to join the protest march to El Geneina.

The attackers ordered them to hand their belongings. In the ensuing fight, three villagers, among them the medical assistant of the village, and three militiamen were killed, multiple sources reported.

The sources described the situation in the West Darfur capital as tense, because of the presence of large groups of militiamen in Land Cruisers in various parts of the town.

The residents of the villages south of El Geneina expect renewed militia attacks, they said.

The Governor of West Darfur, Khalil Abdallah, said in an interview on the national television early this evening that no casualties occurred during the demonstration.

See below short footages of the government forces intervention.