8 Sudanese soldiers killed

SUDAN - Eight Sudanese soldiers were killed and 19 wounded in clashes with Darfur rebels backed by troops from neighbouring Chad, Sudan's military said yesterday.

SUDAN - Eight Sudanese soldiers were killed and 19 wounded in clashes with Darfur rebels backed by troops from neighbouring Chad, Sudan's military said yesterday.

The casualties were sustained in clashes on Saturday in the Salie region of western Darfur between the Sudanese army and members of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), army spokesman Osman al-Aghbash said.

Aghbash told the government-backed agency, the Sudanese Media Centre, that the attackers were supported by Chadian forces. The rebel groups had attacked 57 Sudanese troops using dozens of vehicles, he said.

"They pulled back, taking with them their dead and their wounded," Aghbash said.

Sudan last week alleged Chadian forces had carried out an air and ground assault on Sudanese territory in Darfur.

The JEM on Saturday claimed responsibility for an attack on Sudanese forces in the Salie region. - Sapa-AFP

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