March 13, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - A Darfur rebel group claimed Thursday the capture of the strategic town of Mellit in North Darfur state, which is at 80km north to the state capital Al-Fasher.
The military spokesperson of the Sudan Liberation Movement – Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) Adam Saleh Abakar, said the attack was carried out by a joint force composed of their fighters and those of a splinter faction of the Liberation and Justice Movement led by Ali Karbino. (LJM-Karbino)
Abakar did not provide further details about the attack, as the Sudanese army spokesperson was not reachable for comment.
Eyewitnesses said three assailant vehicles were destroyed and heard the exchange of heavy gunfire in the vicinity of the town on the afternoon.
A joint security committee in North Darfur state held a meeting on Thursday evening, but officials did not issue any statement.
Also, it is not clear if the rebels control the town or already evacuated their forces.
The SLM- Abdel Wahid attacked Mellit on 26 October 2013.
The SLM-MM launched a series of attacks in South and North Darfur states since last February.
The violence displaced some 40,000 civilians, according to UN agencies.