Sudan army attacks Darfur villages

2011-09-23 16:44

Khartoum - The Sudanese army attacked two villages in North Darfur, killing seven of their inhabitants, a spokesperson for one of the region's main rebel factions said on Friday.

"Last night, government troops attacked two villages in North Darfur, in the area of Seraf Umra. Seven residents were killed and a number of people fled the villages," Ibrahim al-Hilu, a spokesperson for the branch of the Sudan Liberation Army led by Abdelwahid Nur, told AFP.

He said the fighting was ongoing.

The Sudanese army spokesperson was not immediately available for comment, and the UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) had no information on the violence.

UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari said last week that fighting in Darfur had dropped sharply between January and July and that the number of people living in camps for the displaced appeared to have dropped to 1.7 million, down by 1 million from the worst point in the conflict.

He said the peacekeeping force was still facing problems gaining access to some parts of Sudan's war-torn western region due to restrictions imposed by the Khartoum government and armed groups.

At least 300 000 people have been killed since the Darfur conflict first erupted in 2003, between non-Arab rebels and the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime, the United Nations says.

The government puts the death toll at 10 000.

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