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Policeman killed in North Darfur capital

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March 18, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – One policeman was killed and two civilians were wounded in an exchange of fire east of North Darfur capital city of al-Fasher, the governor announced.

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FILE PHOTO - North Darfur governor Mohammed Osman Youssef Kibir (Sudan News Agency)

The clash, which led to a state of fear and panic among the residents, took place between a police unit and a group of gunmen who lost one of their members in the shooting.

The state governor Mohamed Osman Kibir however, described the incident as isolated saying in a statement that the police were going after a fugitive but they came under fire from a "limited" force who were riding motorcycles near the stock exchange building in the eastern entrance to the city .

"It was an exchange of fire in which a policeman was martyred, one of the attackers was killed and the others were arrested," Kibir said before stressing that the situation is safe and stable.

He also hinted that good news will be forthcoming regarding areas in the eastern part of the state that were recently overrun by rebels from the Sudan Liberation Army of Minni Minnawi (SLA-MM).

Last week, the rebel group said it captured the strategic town of Mellit in North Darfur state, which is at 80km north to the state capital al-Fasher.

The army however said it repelled the assailants and prevented them from entering the town, adding they inflicted heavy losses in lives and equipment among them without providing any figures about the death toll from the two sides.

Earlier this month, the head of Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Tijani El-Sissi warned against the rapidly deteriorating security situation in North and South Darfur states and criticized government for failing to restore security in the region, which has witnessed rebellion since 2003.

Sissi further said that the insecurity in North and South Darfur hampers the implementation of development projects. "What happens there will not be a catalyst to start in any reconstruction effort in those areas," he added.

(ST)

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