April 19, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – An unidentified armed group has killed two guards and kidnapped three workers including two foreign nationals at Kanar oilfield in South Kordofan state, said the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), on Saturday.
- Sudanese oil workers at one of GNPOC fields in South Kordofan (file photo Asawer oil company)
SAF’s spokesperson, Al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad, said that unknown gunmen attacked Kanar oilfield in Baleela area in South Kordofan state on Saturday morning, pointing that two guards were killed and three workers, an Algerian, a Chinese, and a Sudanese were kidnapped.
He asserted that three attackers were killed in a firelight with the guards at the site, saying they have not yet determined identity of the attackers.
However, security sources in Khartoum accuse the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) of abducting 8 engineers including three foreign nationals working for the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC) from an area between Al-Muglad and Hegleg.
The same sources affirmed that abductees were taken to South Sudan’s borders, saying the commander of the JEM force is named Hashim Ginzeer.
It further added the group carried out the attack using three armed vehicles including one which was seized from a merchant in the town of Al-Muglad.
SAF and other regular forces in the area have intensified pursuit operations in order to free the abductees and arrest perpetrators.
The Sudanese government has been battling the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan state for nearly three years.
However, the state host now JEM fighters who moved to the troubled state following the formation of a joint command for the rebel alliance of Sudanese Revolutionary Front.
During the past years, the rebel group attacked oil fields in South Kordofan and Abyei several times but denied abducting oil workers in similar attacks.
The conflict erupted in 2011 when Sudan attempted to forcibly disarm SPLM-N fighters it accuses of being backed by their brother-in-arms in the South Sudanese army.