x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Sudanese rebel shelling kills 2 children and wounds 8

Sudanese rebels kill two children and wound eight other civilians when they shell the main town in Sudan's oil-producing South Kordofan state.

KHARTOUM // Sudanese rebels killed two children and wounded eight other civilians when they shelled the main town in Sudan's oil-producing South Kordofan state yesterday, the army said - the third bout of shelling in the past two weeks.

Sudan's army has been fighting SPLM-North rebels in the state, which borders South Sudan, since June last year, shortly before South Sudan seceded. But the South Kordofan capital Kadugli was until recently kept out of the fighting.

Army spokesman Al Sawarmi Khalid said the rebels had shelled an army garrison outside Kadugli but that some shells had landed inside the town.

"The attack led to the killing of two children and eight civilians," he said, adding that the army had launched an operation a few days ago to "cleanse" the area around Kadugli of rebels.

SPLM-North spokesman Arnu Lodi said the rebels had shelled army positions inside Kadugli after coming under government artillery fire.

"The government and our troops have been shelling each other since this morning," Lodi said. "They have been shelling our forces based outside Kadugli from inside the town and we are shooting back in self-defence."

A resident who declined to be named said several shells had landed in the centre of the city. "People are frightened," he said.

The rebels first shelled Kadugli on October 8. At least one rocket hit a UN compound, prompting the United Nations to move its staff out of the town.