First Published: 2012-11-08

 

Sudan rebels ‘shoot down government Antonov bomber’

 

Rebels in South Kordofan state claim to have shot down Antonov bomber, which they say crashed in flames along undemarcated border.

 

Middle East Online

Rebels: Plane was hit by fire from heavy machinegun

KHARTOUM - Rebels in Sudan's war-torn South Kordofan state claimed on Thursday to have shot down an Antonov bomber, which they said crashed in flames along the undemarcated border near South Sudan.

Sudan's military spokesman could not be reached for comment and neither could independent witnesses in the remote area, where access for journalists is restricted.

Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, spokesman for the insurgent Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), said the plane, flying at a relatively low altitude, was hit by fire from a heavy machinegun late Wednesday afternoon.

"They shot at it until they saw the wing burning," Lodi said. "Some people in the mountain saw the plane burning."

The bomber finally crashed near Jau, more than 50 kilometres (30 miles) further south, on the disputed border with South Sudan but in South Kordofan territory, Lodi said.

"It was burning all night," residents there reported after hearing an explosion, he added.

Rebels were on the way to the crash site to take photographs, he said, adding it was at least the second Antonov downed by the rebels since fighting began in June last year.

The insurgents have reported an upsurge in government bombing and fighting since Sudan and South Sudan in September signed a deal for a demilitarised border buffer zone designed to cut support for the insurgency.

The ethnic and religious-minority SPLM-N belongs to an alliance of Sudanese rebels seeking to overthrow the Islamist Khartoum regime.

SPLM-N were allies of southern insurgents during Sudan's 22-year civil war, which ended with a 2005 peace deal that led to South Sudan's independence in July last year.

Sudan has accused South Sudan of supporting the SPLM-N, a charge which analysts believe despite denials by the government in Juba. The rebels are also fighting in Sudan's Blue Nile state.

More than 900,000 people are estimated to be displaced or severely affected by the fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the UN says, noting reports of serious food shortages and lack of adequate health care in rebel-held areas.

Sudan has cited security worries in tightly restricting the operations of foreign aid agencies and says there is no humanitarian crisis in the area.

 

OPEC agrees deal to cut oil output

US Congress overrides Obama's veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

UN warns 'hundreds' in Aleppo need medical evacuation

Amnesty accuses Sudan of using chemical arms against Darfur civilians

Palestinian president to attend Peres funeral

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

Saudi seeks oil leadership in economic pinch

Egypt court suspends block on island transfer to Saudi

Bid for international Yemen war probe fails at UN

King Abdullah visits home of murdered writer

Bahrain says 9/11 bill will harm US

9/11 bill puts US, Saudi cooperation in question

UN envoy says Syria talks 'very difficult with bombs falling'

Erdogan says Moody's was 'bought' after downgrade

Erdogan: Turkey may need state of emergency for more than a year

Iraqi activist wins Norway rights prize

Kidnapped German woman, baby freed in Syria

Turkey stops Kurdish TV broadcasts

A year of bombing in Syria triggers limited interest in Russia

Obama defends refusal to use military force to end Syria civil war

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump

Iranian, Italian ships hold manoeuvres in Strait of Hormuz

Gunmen kill three Egypt policemen, civilian in Sinai

Turkey says 32,000 coup suspects awaiting trial

Paris to host international meeting on Libya

Etihad plane in emergency landing in Abu Dhabi

Struggling Saudi Oger lays off 1,300 staff

Israel ex-PM to serve 27 months for graft

Syrian kids return to school in Manbij

World Bank releases $300 million for Syrian refugees in Jordan

UN Libya envoy warns against ‘political impasse’

Iranian FM in Ankara for Syria talks

Syrian army retakes rebel-held Aleppo district

Israeli ex-president Peres dies

Oil prices post marginal gains

Russia tries to strongarm US with Aleppo assault

Saudi petition seeks 'full' rights for women

Jordan vows crackdown on online incitement

Assad, Russia press intense Aleppo assault