Darfur rebels claim town in push against Khartoum | News | DW | 09.05.2012
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Darfur rebels claim town in push against Khartoum

Rebels in the western Sudanese region of Darfur claim to have captured a town, as violence flares in the region once again. It is thought the fighters may be exploiting tension between Khartoum and South Sudan.

Darfur rebels said on Tuesday evening that they had seized the town of Girayda from government troops.

"Today our joint troops took control of Girayda after fighting with Sudanese armed forces,” said Abdullah Moursal, spokesman for the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA)-Minni Minnawi faction. "From our side there were four people wounded," Moursal said.

The spokesman added that the attack was carried out with the help of rebels from a separate SLA faction headed by Abdelwahid Nur. Both groups formed an alliance with other insurgents last year under the banner of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF). A spokesman confirmed the alliance had carried out the attack.

Accusations of looting

Meanwhile, a member of parliament for Girayda, Yacoub Mohammed Al Melik, said rebel troops had "occupied the town and are still inside."

"We condemn this aggression because they disturbed the security of the civilians and looted their properties," said Melik, a member of the ruling National Congress Party.

Sudan has accused South Sudan - which became independent from Khartoum last year after a lengthy civil war - of backing the rebels. South Sudan, which has accused Sudan of committing acts of war against it in recent weeks, denied the allegation.

The countries have clashed repeatedly over the position of their shared border and oil revenues.

rc/ccp (AFP, Reuters)