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.

 

Angry protesters storm Iraq Green Zone

War continues in Aleppo, with US-Russia agreement

Rouhani allies win second round of Iran parliament elections

Yemen government forces seize Qaeda training camp

Aleppo mourns paediatrician killed in air strike

UN council votes to bring back full Western Sahara mission

Air strike hits clinic in rebel-held Aleppo

US, Russia 'agree freeze' on two Syrian fronts

Libya unity government vows to end jihadist 'scourge'

Turkey demands 5 years jail for UK academic over 'terror propaganda'

UK pair accused of giving money to Brussels, Paris attacks suspect

Turkey says Bursa bomber linked to PKK

UN rights chief calls Syrian crisis 'shameful realpolitik'

Kuwait steps up deportations of expat workers

South Sudan unveils unity government

Iranians vote in second round of parliamentary elections

Palestinians support, Israel opposes French peace initiative

Biden in surprise Iraq visit to support embattled government

MSF condemns strike on Aleppo hospital

Lifeline to millions in Syria 'may be broken' as violence intensifies

Turkish journalists get two years for publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoon

Greece making 'incredible effort' to tackle migration issue

Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera bureau for 'instigating violence and sectarianism'

Syria regime readies for major Aleppo offensive

Israel nuclear reactor defects spark secrecy dilemma

Suicide bomber targets Aden police chief

Death toll in Syria's Aleppo rises despite UN truce plea

Italy to introduce migrant fingerprinting at sea

UN envoy plans to hold another round of Syria peace talks

US proposes full restoration of Western Sahara mission

27 Yemeni soldiers dead in key offensive

Global press freedom drops to lowest level in 12 years

Constitutional amendment grants Jordan king more powers

Suicide bomber blows herself up in Turkey northwestern city

Austria adopts one of EU's toughest asylum laws

Netherlands warns no safety 'guarantees' for visitors to Turkey

Battered Aleppo residents ask: Where is Syria ceasefire?

Libya kidnappers release Serbian worker

Sinai bombing kills three Egypt policemen

UAE considers tough safety code after skyscraper fires

UNESCO says Palmyra retains 'authenticity' despite damage

Khamenei says US 'fomenting Iranophobia'

Russia applauds cooperation with US on Syria

Etihad Airways sees $103 million profit in 2015

Russia asks UN to list Syria rebel group as 'terrorist'