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Khartoum’s Echoes with Air Strikes and Artillery Shelling: Sudan Conflict Ranks Third.


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Warplanes launched heavy anti-aircraft bombing raids over Khartoum on Saturday, while air strikes, anti-aircraft weapons and artillery were heard across the city, as heavy fighting between the Sudanese army and paramilitary forces entered a third week, violating the renewal of the truce. .

Fighting continued between the army and a rival paramilitary force despite announcing a 72-hour extension of the ceasefire on Friday, when air strikes, tanks and artillery rocked Khartoum and the neighboring towns of Bahri and Umm Abdman.

Hundreds were killed and tens of thousands fled for their lives in a power struggle between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces that erupted into violence on April 15, blocking an internationally backed transition towards democratic elections.

The fighting also reawakened the two-decade-old conflict in the western region of Darfur, where dozens were killed this week.

The army is deploying planes or drones against the Rapid Support Forces in neighborhoods in the capital. Many residents are trapped by urban warfare with food, fuel, water and energy scarce.

At least 512 people have been killed and nearly 4,200 injured, according to the United Nations, which believes the true number is much higher.

More than 75,000 people were displaced within Sudan in the first week of fighting, according to the United Nations. Only 16% of hospitals were operating as usual in the capital.

The latest cease-fire brokered by foreign powers is supposed to last until midnight on Sunday.

The Rapid Support Forces accused the army of breaching it with air strikes on its bases in Omdurman, the sister city of Khartoum at the confluence of the Blue and White rivers, and Jabal Awliya.

The army blamed the RSF for the abuses.

The violence has pushed tens of thousands of refugees across Sudan’s borders and threatens to destabilize a volatile swath of Africa between the Sahel and the Red Sea.

Foreign governments have evacuated diplomats and citizens to safety over the past week, including through air bridges. Britain said the evacuations would end on Saturday as demand for space on planes declined.

On Thursday, Turkey deployed five military transport planes, including two A400Ms, to evacuate its remaining citizens from conflict-torn Sudan. Earlier Friday, Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense announced that a Turkish C-130 evacuation aircraft heading to Wadi Sidna Air Base for evacuation came under small arms fire.

As part of the plans to evacuate our citizens, one of our C-130 planes landed at Wadi Saidna Airport, north of (the capital) Khartoum, and small arms fire occurred while our second plane was landing. Despite this, our plane “landed safely,” National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters.

He confirmed that there were no injuries.

A Turkish team inspected the damage to the plane, Akar said, adding, “According to a preliminary assessment, we don’t think there are major damages. We believe we can repair it by teams we send from here. The exact situation will be clarified by an upcoming report.”

On Friday, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense said that 101 Turkish citizens were safely transported to the country with an A400M aircraft.

The United States said several hundred Americans had left Sudan by land, sea and air. The New York Times reported that a convoy of buses carrying 300 Americans left Khartoum late on Friday for an 850-kilometer (525-mile) journey to the Red Sea in the first US-organised evacuation effort of citizens.

A spokeswoman for the United Nations Office for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, said that at least 96 people have been killed in Darfur since Monday in sectarian violence sparked by the conflict between the army and the Rapid Support Forces.

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