Home | News    Saturday 25 October 2003

Bandits rob travellers on Sudan highway

KHARTOUM, Oct 25 (AFP) — Armed bandits spent an hour and a half stopping buses and other vehicles on the Khartoum-Port Sudan highway Friday, beating up passengers and robbing them, before police arrived and gave chase, a police spokesman said.

The incident occurred at Amadam, north of Kassala city, where vehicles were stopped at gunpoint, and some later stolen, the Saturday statement said.

"The group of armed outlaws went on ransacking and looting the passing-by vehicles for one and a half hours until a joint police-army force arrived and chased them to the east," said police spokesman Adel Sidahmed.

Speaking on Omdurman Radio, Kassala Police Commissioner Major General Abdin al-Tahir said the "gangsters" chose the timing to coincide with Muslim Friday prayers.

Reporting from Kassala, Sudan Media Centre (SMC) said the three pick-up trucks seized were loaded with foodstuffs, gold pieces, clothes, perfumes, children’s bicycles, medicines and mobile telephones, as well as money.

The gunmen fled towards the Telkouk area near the border with Eritrea, the SMC said. It quoted an unnamed security source as saying investigations showed the group originated in Eritrea, aiming to carry out "looting and plunder and creating instability."