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Business News/ News / Sudan's Khartoum sees shootout on Eid ul-Fitr eve despite ceasefire calls, death toll rises to 413
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Sudan's Khartoum sees shootout on Eid ul-Fitr eve despite ceasefire calls, death toll rises to 413

The fatal fight between two warring camps has been going on for almost seven days now. The gunfire and shooting has also left at least 3,551 injured, according to WHO

An aerial view of black smoke rising above the Khartoum International Airport amid ongoing battles between the forces of two rival generals. (AFP)Premium
An aerial view of black smoke rising above the Khartoum International Airport amid ongoing battles between the forces of two rival generals. (AFP)

Despite appeals of ceasefire ahead of Eid ul-Fitr, gunfires were heard ripping through the war-torn neighborhood of Sudan's capital city Khartoum. The war that has been going on for almost seven days now has killed 413 people, left 3,551 injured, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

On Friday, army was deployed on foot for the first time in its almost week-long fight with a paramilitary force. Soldiers and gunmen from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) shot at each other in the north, west and centre of the city, including during the call for special early morning Eid prayers, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Sudan's top general on Friday declared the military's commitment to a civilian-led government, an apparent bid for international support days after brutal fighting between his forces and a powerful paramilitary group derailed hopes for the country's democratic transition.

Muslim women faithful attend Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, in Juba, South Sudan April 21, 2023
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Muslim women faithful attend Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, in Juba, South Sudan April 21, 2023 (REUTERS)

The unabated fighting has killed hundreds. In the absence of a ceasefire, foreign nations including the United States have been unable to evacuate their citizens from Sudan.

International efforts to broker a temporary truce over the three day holiday and allow civilians to reach safety have so far failed.

Instead, the army appeared to enter a new phase of battle on the ground, fighting the RSF in residential neighbourhoods, after having stuck largely to air strikes across the capital, with fiercer clashes in central Khartoum.

Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said on Thursday he saw "no other option but the military solution" to the power struggle with the paramilitary force that erupted into violence last weekend.

The conflict between two previously allied leaders of the ruling military junta, army chief Burhan and RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, risks drawing in Sudan's neighbours and could play into regional competition between Russia and the United States.

A Muslim girl sits among faithful as they attend Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, in Juba, South Sudan April 21, 2023
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A Muslim girl sits among faithful as they attend Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, in Juba, South Sudan April 21, 2023 (REUTERS)

The thud of heavy weaponry could be heard across Khartoum and its Nile sister cities, together one of Africa's biggest urban areas. Army troops brandishing semi-automatic weapons were greeted by cheers on one street, footage released by the military on Friday showed.

Reuters verified the location of the video, in the north of the city, but could not immediately verify when it was filmed.

The World Health Organization said at least 413 people have already been killed and thousands injured in the conflict, which has tipped Sudan into a humanitarian disaster, with hospitals under attack and up to 20,000 people fleeing into neighbouring Chad.

Thousands more Sudanese fled Khartoum on Friday, moving south to Al Gezira state, or north to River Nile state, with some seeking to go onward to Egypt.

A supporter of Sudan's army joins protesters against the United Arab Emirates' influence in internal Sudanese politics in Port Sudan
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A supporter of Sudan's army joins protesters against the United Arab Emirates' influence in internal Sudanese politics in Port Sudan (AFP)

Even before the conflict, about a quarter of Sudan's people were facing acute hunger, with children especially affected. The U.N. World Food Programme halted its Sudan operation, one of its largest, on Saturday after three of its workers were killed.

The violence was triggered by disagreement over an internationally backed plan to form a new civilian government four years after the fall of autocrat Omar al-Bashir to mass protests, and two years after a military coup.

Both sides accuse the other of thwarting the transition.

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Published: 21 Apr 2023, 04:55 PM IST
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