KHARTOUM, Sudan, Jul 14, 2003 (AP) — Armed rebels launched fresh attacks on a small town in western Sudan Monday, two days after 30 of their fighters were killed by government soldiers in the same area, the Sudanese army said.
The little known Sudan Liberation Army, which operates in western Sudan’s Darfur region, has been launching attacks in Tinah, about 560 miles (900 kilometers) west of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.
No casualty details were immediately available from Monday’s clashes, but government officials said Saturday’s fighting killed 30 rebels and an undisclosed number of government troops. Twelve rebels were also arrested.
Sudan’s official news agency quoted Sudanese army officials as saying “a group of thieves and robbers” attacked residents and property in Tinah, but troops repelled and “inflicted great losses” on the rebels.
There were no further details.
Darfur is a multiethnic region on the border with Chad with some 80 tribes and ethnic groups divided between nomads of Arab origin and farmers of African origin.
The region has witnessed cycles of drought and desert creep since the late 1980s, which has shrunk its vast grazing areas and spurred friction among nomads and farmers.
Sudan is wracked by civil conflicts in other parts of the country, particularly the south where government forces have been clashing with rebels since 1983. That conflict has left more than 2 million people dead through fighting and related famine.