Saturday, July 17, 2010
Hundreds killed in new clashes in Darfur
Nearly 400 people have been killed in recent clashes between the Sudanese army and Darfur's main rebel group, according to Sudanese state media. Most of the people killed - more than 300 - were members of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).Also eighty-six soldiers were also reportedly killed in the fighting earlier this week. United Nations peacekeepers in Darfur confirmed that there were at least two major clashes between the two sides.The under-equipped peacekeepers, with a mandate to cover an area the size of Spain, said they were also investigating reports of a third clash in Daba Tago, near the north Darfur settlement of Mellit.
General Al-Tayeb al-Musbah, of the Sudanese army, told the state-run Suna news agency that the army destroyed "scores of Jem vehicles" during the fighting. Jem has not yet commented on the clashes.
Violence has been increasing in Darfur in recent months. The United Nations said that nearly 600 people were killed in the region in May, making it the bloodiest month in Darfur in nearly two years.
Fighting has been particularly heavy around the Jebel Moon region, where more than 150 people were killed in a single battle.The renewed fighting is one reason why peace talks between Jem and the government were suspended in May.