Home | News    Sunday 20 July 2003

Sudanese planes kill 300 villagers in west Sudan: rebels

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CAIRO, July 20 (AFP) — Sudanese government warplanes have carried out bombing raids on two dozen villages in western Sudan, killing at least 300 villagers and wounding 200 others in the last three days, a rebel leader charged Sunday.

"Twenty-five villages in northwest Darfur have been set ablaze and bombed by Antonov-type planes from the government forces," Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) leader Mani Arkoi Minawi told AFP by telephone.

"At least 300 inhabitants of these villages have been killed and 200 others wounded," Minawi said.

He said several people among the 200 wounded were victims of a "toxic gas" that he did not specify. A month ago, Minawi had also accused the government of using poisonous gas and biological weapons against the people in Darfur.

There was no immediate reaction from the Sudanese government about the allegations.

The SLM was founded in Darfur in August 2001 under the name of the Darfur Liberation Movement, before using its current name in February when it began claiming responsibility for several anti-government attacks.

"The government wants to annihilate the inhabitants of this region because it thinks they support our movement," Minawi said.

Minawi said Thursday that more than 300 Sudanese soldiers had been killed in North Darfur state, while 25 rebel fighters had died.

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