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Sudan accuses Israel of factory airstrike

Sudan has accused Israel of carrying out an attack on a military factory linked with chemical weapons storage and small arms. Khartoum has warned that it is prepared to hit back.

The Sudanese government warned on Wednesday that airstrikes against the facility in the south of the capital, Khartoum, could lead to retaliation.

Culture and Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said evidence of an Israeli link had been found in remnants of the explosives used in the attack on Tuesday night.

"We think Israel did the bombing," Osman told a news conference. "We reserve the right to react at a place and time we choose."

The minister said four radar-evading aircraft were involved in the attack at about midnight local time at the Yarmouk military manufacturing plant. Israeli officials have given no comment.

Before Osman's remarks, the governor of Khartoum state, Abdelrahman al-Khidir, said the reasons for a fire at the factory, after which several people were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation, were "unclear."

Witness reports, however, suggested that aircraft had been in the sky at the time of the incident.

Tel-Aviv has declined to respond to accusations over past incidents, including an attack on a car in the eastern city of Port Sudan in May. The Sudanese government claimed the vehicle had been targeted by Israeli combat helicopters. Israel neither admitted nor denied involvement in similar attacks in 2011 and 2009.

In 1998, the group Human Rights Watch said it had received information that Sudan was storing chemical weapons for Iraq at Yarmouk.

A report in September, from the Swiss-based Small Arms Survey research group, said evidence suggested that arms and ammunition of Chinese origin were being exported to the Yarmouk facility.

rc/mz (AP, dpa, AFP, Reuters)