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Drone attack kills 12 people in Atbara, Sudan

ALBAWABA – A physician and witnesses told AFP that a drone attack killed 12 people and injured 30 on Tuesday in Atbara, northeast Sudan, a city that had previously witnessed the brutal consequences of the ongoing war.

For nearly a year, Sudan has been gripped by a violent conflict between the regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. “A fire broke out after a drone attack during an iftar,” a witness said over the phone, referring to the evening fast-breaking meal during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Another local told AFP that the lunch was “organized by and at the base of the Islamist Baraa militia,” which fights alongside the Sudanese army. It “gathered both civilians and fighters”.

According to the same source, residents in Atbara, around 300km northeast of Khartoum, were gripped by a “wave of panic due to the shock of the explosion”.

A medical source said that the bodies of “12 killed and 30 injured” had arrived at a hospital in Atbara, updating an earlier toll but not clarifying whether they were fighters or civilians.

The conflict, which erupted on April 15, has killed thousands and displaced more than 8.5 million people both internally and beyond borders, according to the United Nations.

The violence had spared Atbara, where army personnel were stationed to protect the city, which is strategically placed on the way to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, where the army-aligned administration has sought asylum.

No group quickly claimed responsibility for the incident. The RSF owns drones but is positioned about 250 miles away from Atbara, on the routes leading out of the capital Khartoum. 

The RSF arose from the notorious Janjaweed militia, which former dictator Omar al-Bashir unleashed in the early 2000s to suppress tribes in Darfur.

According to Tom Perriello, the new US ambassador for Sudan, military jets assaulted the city of El-Fasher in North Darfur on Monday, “where thousands of civilians from across Darfur have already fled”.

He wrote on X that both the military and the RSF “continue to obstruct humanitarian assistance and the free movement of civilians” throughout the country.

Source: Albawaba