Sudanese planes bomb rebels

KHARTOUM - Sudanese warplanes have been bombing rebel positions in and around the town of Geneina for the past three days in a bid to break the siege on the West Darfur state capital, a rebel chief said on Monday.

KHARTOUM - Sudanese warplanes have been bombing rebel positions in and around the town of Geneina for the past three days in a bid to break the siege on the West Darfur state capital, a rebel chief said on Monday.

"Antonov aircraft bombed positions near Salie, north of Geneina, on Monday," the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, Khalil Ibrahim, said.

"Yesterday and the day before, aircraft of the same type bombed positions northwest of Geneina in the Abu Soruj and Sirf Jaj areas," he added.

There was no confirmation of the air strikes from the Sudanese military or from the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force for Darfur, which did, however, acknowledge that tensions in the area were threatening relief operations.

Ibrahim said that rebel fighters had escaped the raids unharmed but added that there had been "several civilian casualties as well as damage and loss of livestock".

"Residents have been seeking cover from the air strikes under trees and in dry river beds."

Ibrahim said his men had refrained from launching reprisal attacks against the army bases. - Sapa-AFP

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