Sudan troops move on looted town

2012-08-06 09:10

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Khartoum - Two Sudanese soldiers were killed when the army moved in to restore order in a Darfur town after unrest that followed the killing in an ambush of a local official, state-linked media said on Sunday.

The army's deployment inside Kutum, in North Darfur state, is unusual as civic law enforcement is normally a police responsibility.

Troops moved to stop "outlaws" who were looting after the killing last Wednesday of Abdelrahman Mohammed Eissa, the head of North Darfur's Al-Waha district, Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson Sawarmi Khaled Saad was quoted as saying by the Sudanese Media Centre, which is close to the security apparatus.

"In this intervention SAF lost two martyrs and two were wounded," Saad said.

Eissa died from gunshot wounds after an ambush and theft of his car in Kutum, official media reported.

Such attacks on government officials are rare in Sudan.

The day after the killing, armed men began looting and ransacking a compound of the UN's World Food Programme in Kutum, WFP spokesperson Amor Almagro said.

"Our office and guest house were looted," with furniture, fuel, computers and other items stolen, she said, adding WFP staff hid and were unhurt during the looting which continued for about 12 hours.

"Since the security situation remains tense and unpredictable we have decided to suspend our operation until the situation calms down," she said.

Banditry, inter-ethnic fighting and clashes between rebel groups and government forces continue in Darfur, in Sudan's far west, nearly a decade after black African rebels first rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime.

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