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.

 

Obama admits 'no strategy yet' to fight IS

Libya's troubled interim government steps down

Top Saudi envoys hold talks with Qatar emir

Over three million Syrian refugees have fled war

At Venice Film Festival, Iran filmmaker urges West to lift sanctions

UN chief lashes out at 'brutal' IS killings in Iraq

Israel counts losses and gains in Gaza: Heavy cost for 50 days of war

Saudi Crown Prince flies to France next week: Jihadist threat tops agenda

UN confirms capture of UN peacekeepers in Syria Golan

Islamic State executes dozens of Syria soldiers in new atrocity

'Jihad recruiters' arrested in Netherlands, Germany

Saudi Grand Mufti warns youth against ‘perverted’ calls for jihad

Neo-Ottomanism scores new victory in Turkey: From Ataturk to Erdogan

Fire rises up again from under ashes on Lebanon border

Vital aid arrives in war-battered Gaza

Lebanon seeks to tackle child marriage with new legislation

Hollande: Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorists

Egypt quizzes Morsi for 'giving security papers to Qatar'

Obama's warfare doctrine to be tested in Syria

UN moves to impose sanctions on Libya militias

Mother of US hostage to leader of Islamic State: Please spare my son

Turkey ruling party officially approves Davutoglu as new PM

US spy agencies face difficult task in Syria

Saudi Arabia jails 18 militants on terror charges

Gazans breathe sigh of relief

Litany of horrors becomes regular fixture in jihadist-held Syria

Iraq forces mass for onslaught on jihadist siege of Amerli

Doha offers help to rebuild Gaza

Iran alters Arak heavy water reactor over Western worries

New Turkey PM leaves successor troubled legacy

US rules out coordination with Syria on targeting jihadists

Algeria president sacks Belkhadem

Calm reigns over Gaza amid celebrations

Palestinians ‘reach’ long-term Gaza truce with Israel

Barzani: Iran provided us with weapons

US to track jihadists in Syria with spy planes

Top Iran official in Saudi to repair strained ties

Drums of war are beating anew on Capitol Hill

Israel air raid in Gaza kills two Palestinians

Deadly bus tragedy in Egypt

Car bomb rips through Baghdad intersection

Shebab flee Somalia strategic town in latest advance of African troops

South Sudan warring leaders sign fresh ceasefire deal

Who’s funding extremists? Qatar struggles to clean up tarnished image

Abadi calls on militias to come under Iraq state control