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.


New report accuses Syria of chemical attack in Qmenas village

For second day, Iraq forces clash with ISIS in Kirkuk

Battles rage in Yemen despite three-day truce

Turkey PM warns EU: Turkey has alternatives!

Food crisis reaching critical levels north of South Sudan

Turkey hits Kurdish group in Syria again

Kremlin aims to 'liberate' Syria with Assad in power

Egypt court upholds 20-year sentence for Morsi

Islamic Jihad stages show of force in Gaza

UN says 'crimes' in Aleppo are 'of historic proportions'

IS sniper kills Iraqi journalist in Kirkuk

US official says coalition should target IS in Raqa after Mosul

Moscow extends Aleppo ceasefire

Italy PM says officials should have voted against UNESCO Jerusalem resolution

Syrian ‘Toy Smuggler’ accused of fraud

UN: IS may use civilians as human shields in Mosul

Armed men attack refugee boat off Libya

US says will work with Turkey to deal IS 'lasting defeat'

Moscow ‘highly concerned’ at jihadists’ refusal to leave Aleppo

Four Palestinians arrested by their security forces for settlement visit

Mauritania president says no change to two-term limit

UN delays Aleppo evacuations due to lack of security assurances

Oman denies reports of arms smuggling to Yemen

Israel looking to buy three more German submarines

83 migrants rescued off Cyprus

Under pressure in Mosul, IS fighters attack Kirkuk

Air strikes hit Yemen rebels despite ceasefire

US officials: Iran boosting arms sales to Huthis via Oman

Iraq forces make gains against IS near Mosul

Arab coalition accuses Yemen rebels of breaching truce

Italian PM blocks EU sanctions threat against Russia over Aleppo

Pentagon chief in Turkey for talks on tensions with Iraq

Israeli occupation troops kill Palestinian teenager

Iraqis flee IS-held Mosul for war-torn Syria

Five years after his death, Kadhafi's 'Green Book' is ridiculed in Libya

Iraq issues warrant for former governor of Mosul

EU leaders threaten sanctions against Assad allies

Syria army urges residents to evacuate Aleppo during ceasefire

British warships shadow Syria-bound Russian naval force

Turkey unexpectedly keeps interest rate steady

British PM urges united EU response to Russia over Syria 'atrocities'

UN gets ‘green light’ from all parties for Aleppo evacuations

Iran president: we must be hospitable to foreign businessmen

British Al-Jazeera reporter freed in Somalia

Turkish planes raid US-backed Kurdish militias