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KHARTOUM - 29 Apr 2013

Army back in control of key N. Kordofan town

The Sudan Armed Forces is back in control of Um Rawaba in North Kordofan State, east of El Obeid, after a raid by the Sudan Revolutionary Front on Saturday.

Colonel Al-Sawarmi Khaled, the army spokesman, released a statement claiming that government forces managed to contain the situation and restore order after the retreat of the rebels.

Rebels killed an unconfirmed number of policemen in the surprise attack on the town, which lies north of Abbasiya district in South Kordofan and east of El Obeid and El Rahad on the route to capital of White Nile State.

A source in El Rahad told Radio Tamazuj that hundreds of families are displaced by the SRF attack from the areas of Abu Karshola, Allahukarim, Shamshaga, Tandalti and Um Rawaba.

SRF is an alliance of rebel forces recruiting primarily in Darfur and Kordofan. The Justice and Equality Movement has confirmed its role in the attack on Um Rawaba.

"The goal of this attack is to weaken the government to realize our strategic plan to topple the regime," JEM spokesman Gibril Adam told Reuters on Saturday.

Rebels reportedly looted a market and several banks before withdrawing. According to Reuters, the size of the force seen in the town was 20 vehicles. Sudan Tribune reported that the force involved in the operation was significantly larger.

File photo: JEM fighters in Darfur (UN)