Sudan war: Deadly drone attack on River Nile state iftar

The aftermath of the deadly drone attack n Atbara in Sudan’s River Nile state on Tuesday evening (Photo: RD)

At least five people have died and others were injured in an apparent ‘drone attack’, which targeted a Ramadan iftar by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) affiliated El Baraa bin Malik Brigade in Atbara in Sudan’s River Nile state yesterday evening.

Callers told Radio Dabanga that the drone came from the southwest, and targeted the Infinity Hall, where a gathering for iftar (breaking of the Ramadan fast) was being held. Members of the SAF ordered the public to evacuate the area and turn off lights in anticipation of another attack. They say that the town is now witnessing “a state of cautious calm”, while no party has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Details are difficult to verify, with some unconfirmed reports suggesting up to 12 fatalities, including Maj Mohamed Ahmed of the SAF. The wounded were taken to Atbara Police Hospital.

This is the first targeting of its kind in the town of Atbara. The El Baraa Bin Malik Brigade is affiliated with the Islamic Movement, and its members are fighting as part of the Popular Resistance in the ranks of the army during the ongoing war between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

As reported by Radio Dabanga last week, Lt Gen Shamseldin Kabbashi, second deputy commander-in-chief of the SAF, says that the popular resistance groups fighting the RSF need to be better controlled.

الفريق أول ركن شمس الدين الكباشي - المصدر وكالة السودان للأنباء
Lt Gen Shamseldin Kabbashi, deputy commander-in-chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces (File photo: SUNA)

During an address at the graduation ceremony of the new combatants of the Sudan Liberation Movement faction under the leadership of Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) in El Gedaref, Kabbashi stated: “We have begun enacting a law and structures to control the many popular resistance groups” in Sudan.

“The popular resistance groups will become the next danger if we continue in this way,” he said.

Armed groups formed in various areas controlled by the SAF have reportedly been training large numbers of civilians to fight the RSF. Observers have accused members of the defunct regime of Omar Al Bashir of being behind the formation of these forces.

An advanced Iranian Mohajer-6 drone, as supplied by Teheran to the Sudanese Armed Forces (File photo: Hadi Hirbodvash / Fars Media Corporation / CC BY 4.0)

Drones have been used by both sides during the conflict. It is known that the SAF have Iranian-made Mohajer-6 drones in their arsenal, however the source of drones used by the RSF is unclear.

Mohajer-6 drones played an important role and were a ‘decisive factor’ in the success of the SAF battle to wrest control of the National Radio and Television Corporation buildings from RSF control in mid-March.