Five killed as soldiers, militants clash in in Sudan capital

Five killed as soldiers, militants clash in in Sudan capital
Sudan

Four suspected militants and a soldier were killed Monday in clahes in Sudan's capital, state media reported, days after five officers died in a jihadist-claimed shootout in the same area.

The latest shootout in the busy Jabra district of southern Khartoum lasted hours and prompted security forces to seal off streets, said an AFP correspondent at the scene.

"Joint forces have raided two locations in Jabra district following new intelligence of terrorist hideouts," the official news agency SUNA said, citing a statement from the intelligence services.

The raid "left four dead from the terrorist cell" and led to the arrest of four others, it said.

One army solider was killed in the exchange of fire, while three others including from the police and the intelligence services were wounded, it added.

Sounds of heavy gunfire could be heard and armoured vehicles were seen rushing to the location in video footage shared online apparently from the scene.

Other videos showed plumes of smoke emanating from a building that appeared to be in Jabra.

AFP could not independently identify the authenticity of the videos.

Security forces on Sunday raided alleged militant hideouts in the capital's twin city of Omdurman and arrested "eight foreign elements", SUNA said, quoting the statement.

On Tuesday last week, the intelligence services said five counter-terrorism officers were killed during a raid in Jabra targeting "a cell linked to the Islamic State (IS) group".

It said 11 militants from different "foreign countries" were arrested while four others escaped.

The following day, a little-known jihadist group -- the Movement for Preaching and Combat -- claimed responsibility for killing the intelligence officers.

The latest clashes came with Sudan in the midst of a rocky transition following the April 2019 ouster of autocratic president Omar al-Bashir.

Under Bashir, Sudan adopted a more radical brand of Islam and became an international pariah over links to international "terrorist" organisations and for hosting Islamist militant groups.

Between 1992 and 1996, it also hosted Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden who was expelled under US pressure after Washington placed Sudan on its list of "state sponsors of terrorism".

The United States finally removed Sudan from its blacklist last December, after Sudan agreed to normalise ties with Israel.

Khartoum faces a mountain of challenges as it seeks to bolster a transition to civilian rule, with fragmentation among political factions as well as dire economic woes.

On September 21, the government said it thwarted a coup attempt.

AFP

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