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Rebel group says it shelled Nyala airport, South Darfur

April 22 - 2013 NYALA

A rebel group claims to have shelled the airport of Nyala, capital of South Darfur, in the early hours of Monday. This is the first operation of its kind since the war in Darfur began over a decade ago.

SLA-MM says the bombardment is a warning to the government that its forces are getting “close” to the town. Spokesman Adam Saleh Abkar said the shell was fired from a distance of 3km east of Nyala.

Earlier this month a Sudanese MP had suggested Nyala could fall in the hands of rebels at “any moment” as the city is besieged by them and lacks security.

Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir recently relieved the governor of South Darfur from his duties following the increasing insecurity in the state.

Multiple witnesses from Nyala confirmed to Radio Dabanga that they heard sounds of cannons being fired from Jebel Nyala, a mountain located near the airport, on Monday morning.

Nevertheless, they said air traffic was “normal” and that no casualties were reported.

Attack

Meanwhile, a separate SLA-MM section announced it repulsed an attack by the Sudanese Army (SAF) and allied militias in an area south of Marla, South Darfur, on Monday morning.

The rebels claimed that "several soldiers and militias were killed, and vehicles and military equipment were seized” in the battle.

Abkar accused pro-government militias of looting money, and livestock of residents of Marla and neighboring villages, in addition to burning several of their houses.

He said the insurgents were coming from the towns of Labado and Muhajeriya in East Darfur, which have been the stage of violent clashes between SLA-MM and SAF supported by militants.

SLA-MM is threatening to invade Nyala and claims its forces are surrounding the town from the eastern and southern sides.  

Radio Dabanga could not contact SAF or South Darfur’s government for comments.

File photo: SLA leader Minni Minawi

See also:

Pro-government militia 'kill 18 civilians' in Muhajeriya and Labado, East Darfur (21 April 2013)

Darfur rebels claim to be in control of 2 garrisons near Nyala (18 April 2013)


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