July 16, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson announced the death of seven military personnel when their helicopter crashed in Darfur due to technical failure, but a rebel group have claimed that they shot it down.
Al-Sawarmi Khalid released a statement on Monday saying that a military Mi-17 helicopter had crashed in the Khazan Tunjur area, North Darfur state. He added that seven of the nine military passengers were killed.
"Three officers and four soldiers were killed in the accident", he said.
The military official explained that the plane was on an administrative mission, without giving further details .
However the rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement – Minnin Minnawi (SLM-MM) claimed to have shot down the chopper on Monday morning.
Adam Saleh Abakr, SLM-MM military spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Sudan Tribune that their troops based in eastern Jebel Marra downed the helicopter as it was bombarding Kosoni village.
The rebel group accused the army of regularly bombing villages located in the remote areas of the Darfur region, stressing that the government continues to kill innocent civilians sporadically.
The government on the other hand accuses the rebels of attacking civilians and looting markets in Darfur villages, in order to obstruct its efforts for peace and the return of displaced persons.