Sudan denies attack after engaging aerial target in Omdurman

After shooting an unidentified object in the sky in Omdurman, the army denies that the widely heard explosions were related to an attack or coup attempt.

Sudan's anti-aircraft defence shot at an unidentified object that crossed the sky near Khartoum late on Tuesday, the army said, denying that explosions heard in the capital were related to an attack or coup attempt.

Residents of Omdurman said they had heard at least one explosion around 10pm coming from the northern area of Karari.

"The anti-air defence in the Wadi Sayedna military zone confronted a bright target late last night," a statement on the Sudan Armed Forces website quoted spokesman Col. El Sawarmi Khaled Saad as saying. "The official spokesman would like to reassure citizens that the situation is fully under control, denying reports that there was an alleged coup attempt, or military clashes or external attack."

In the absence of an immediate official explanation, rumours and fears of a possible military coup d’état by senior army officials who oppose the incumbent President Omar Al Bashir circulated in the city, hours after the incident.

Witnesses told El Arabi newspaper they thought the aircrafts had come from Israel, which has been fingered for airstrikes in Sudan in the recent past. The Israel Defence Forces did not immediately respond to the reports, Israel’s Army Radio reported.

Another account was given by the Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman who denied any bombings in the capital. Speaking to Radio Tamazuj this afternoon, Bilal explained that there were military trainings north of Omdurman near the barracks of air defense forces. The anti-air units opened fire as a result of a miscommunication, he claimed.


Israel reportedly struck Sudanese territory before, in a bid to preempt the delivery of weapons to Hamas in Palestine. Three air raids carried out in March 2009 destroyed a convoy of lorries in western Sudan reportedly carrying long-range Iranian missiles to the Gaza Strip.

The attack on the Yarmouk weapons plant in Khartoum in October 2012 was also believed to be the result of an Israeli air strike targeting arms, destined for Hamas. Sudan accused Israel of carrying out an air strike on the arms factory.

(Reuters, Radio Tamazuj)

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