Villagers were killed in an air strike by the Sudanese Air Force on the village El Tomat, south of Tullus, on Sunday. Serious fighting between armed rebels and government forces took place in Tullus and surrounding localities that day, with both sides claiming to have inflicted heavy losses on each other.
El Tomat is located about 50 km south of Tullus. Two witnesses in the area told Radio Dabanga that an entire family was among the sixteen dead. They were in the market at the time of the strike. More than eleven people sustained injuries
Other witnesses reported government-rebel clashes in the area of Dimsu and Nakhara, and fighting in Antakina area. Speaking from Nyala, they said that dozens of wounded government troops have arrived at the military hospital in the state capital.
Sudan's army confirmed the fighting in Nakhara, which is south of Tullus, on Sunday morning. It claimed inflicting “heavy losses” in lives and battle equipment on the side of the rebels.
"Dozens of wounded government troops have arrived at the military hospital in Nyala."
The spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Jibril Adam Bilal, said that the rebels destroyed a military camp of the Sudanese forces and allied militias on Sunday morning, in the area between Nyala and Tullus. The remainder of the Sudanese forces fled towards Tullus, according to Bilal.
“We killed and wounded dozens of government forces, including the commander of a militia. We also seized a number of vehicles and weapons.”
Sudan's military spokesman Col. Sawarmi Khaled Saad announced that they have set ambushes for the rebels at roads in the state, the official Sudanese news agency SUNA reported on Sunday.
The rebels of the JEM have announced the redeployment of fighters in Darfur, to launch a large-scale military operation against the Sudanese government's forces in South Darfur.
Khaled Saad and the governor of South Darfur have claimed that the rebel fighters of the JEM and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) spreading in the state have come from South Sudan, where they were “received training from foreign elements.
“They took the road north, past El Tomat and Sesaban, cross Rahad El Berdi locality […] to gain access to East Jebel Marra,” Governor Adam Mahmoud Jarelnabi stated this weekend. The mountainous region is one of the strongholds of the Darfur rebel movements.
But JEM denied moving from South Sudan. “The government knows that the rebel forces are present in Darfur and Kordofan states. This was a redeployment of troops,” Bilal said.