Sudan's army kill Darfur rebel leader: state media
Sudan's army killed a key rebel leader from the Darfur region today, state media reported, three days after anti-government forces said they had begun advancing on the capital Khartoum.world Updated: Dec 25, 2011 14:58 IST
Sudan's army killed a key rebel leader from the Darfur region on Sunday, state media reported, three days after anti-government forces said they had begun advancing on the capital Khartoum.
"The Sudanese army announce that they killed Khalil Ibrahim in fighting on Sunday in west Wadbanda, North Kordofan," the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) said.
Ibrahim headed the Justice and Equality Movement, the most heavily armed group in the Darfur region.
The report of his death could not be independently confirmed.
Today SUNA, quoting army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad, said the military was combing the North Kordofan-North Darfur border area after JEM "attacked civilians" and targeted local leaders while looting their property in the Umm-Gozain, Goz Abyadh and Aramal areas.
Saad gave no casualty figures.
The JEM announced on Thursday through its London-based spokesman that its forces were advancing from Darfur eastward towards Khartoum.
On the official Sudan TV channel, Saad said today that government forces "clashed directly" with Ibrahim's troops, killing him and "a group of his leaders" as Ibrahim was on his way to South Sudan.
The South became independent in July following an overwhelming vote to separate after a two-decade civil war. Sudanese troops have been battling rebels on the poorly defined southern border, with each country accusing the other of supporting rebels within their territories.