April 21, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – An Islamic fundamentalist group in Sudan made an attempt to bring down a church in the capital Khartoum and eventually managed to set it on fire.
- A Bishop stands in front of the altar during Easter Sunday service at Episcopal Church of the Sudan Diocese of Khartoum All Saints Cathedral in Khartoum April 24, 2011 (Reuters)
The group’s supporters led by hard-line figure Muhammad Abdel-Kareem gathered at 60th Street, a main road of Khartoum, and marched towards the Anglican Church located in the Sawafi area.
They were met by Sudanese security forces which surrounded the church and prevented the group from entering it by imposing a cordon.
However, some individuals from the group managed to sneak through the barrier and set the church on fire.
The church contains a home for the elderly, clinic, educational classrooms and houses students as well as monks.
There were no reports of injuries and Sudan Tribune was unable to reach a police official to comment on the incident.
Residents of the area told Sudan Tribune that the same group has threatened to attack the church before and called for deportation of southerners whom they described as foreigners.
They made the same threat following Sudanese army’s announcement that it had recaptured the Heglig region, which was invaded by South Sudan troops last week.
Khartoum has ruled out dual citizenship for more than 500,000 southerners who have lived in the north for decades and started treating of them as foreigners this month after the end of a grace period.
South Sudan became an independent state last July after its citizens voted overwhelming in early 2011 in favour of seceding from the north.