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28 killed in clashes in Darfur

SEVENTEEN rebels and 11 Sudanese soldiers have been killed in clashes in Darfur, the army said, days after Khartoum signed a goodwill agreement with the insurgent movement.

The statement released to state media late on Friday was Sudan's first acknowledgement that it was fighting the Justice and Equality Movement despite the tentative deal, which did not include a ceasefire but was meant to pave the way for peace talks.

The renewed violence has come at a sensitive time in Darfur, where all sides in the near six-year conflict are waiting for International Criminal Court judges to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan's president on charges of orchestrating war crimes in the region.

Brigadier Uthman al-Agbash said Sudan's army defeated JEM in the Donki area on Thursday and chased them to the mountainous eastern Jabel Marra area.

JEM Commander Suleiman Sandal confirmed the Donki fighting but said that the rebels had routed the army and chased their forces toward El Fasher.


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