Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Sudan News Bulletin: Two Killed in Airstrike Blamed on Israel

Israel strikes again in Sudan?

Sudan Tribune

April 5, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese authorities revealed on Tuesday that a Sonata vehicle was destroyed as a result of a foreign attack but offered conflicting accounts on whether it was carried out by planes or missiles fired from the Red Sea.

Multiple security sources told Sudan Tribune that the two men who were inside the car and killed instantly, had just arrived in town through Port Sudan airport.

Their identities however, remain unknown and the sources said that both men appear to have been under the careful watch of the party that carried out the attack throughout their stay in the country.

The Sudanese Media Center Website (SMC) which is widely believed to be run by the country’s security bureau, was the first to report the news saying that a foreign plane launched the attack at 9 pm local time (1800 GMT) in an area known as Kalaneeb which was described as 14 kilometers away from the coastal city of Port Sudan and on the main road leading to the regional airport.

It further reported that Sudanese ant-aircraft defenses responded with heavy fire forcing the plane to flee their airspace.

However, in the early morning hours of Wednesday SMC quoted the deputy Red Sea governor Salah Sir Al-Khitim Kenna as saying that no planes were involved and that it was only a missile fired against the target but did not elaborate.

Earlier today, the police issued a statement saying that a missile hit the car "from an unknown source" but added that it was likely fired from the Red Sea. It also gave a different time for when this took place saying it happened at 8:05 PM (17:05 GMT)

The confusion is exacerbated by separate remarks made by the deputy chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the Red Sea state Mohamed Tahir Hussein who said that eyewitnesses told him that a plane came from the Red Sea, hit the car and headed back.

Hussein added that "mystery" surrounds the identity of the attackers but he pointed fingers at Israel’s spy agency (Mossad) and suggested that the planes belongs to them and was tracking down arms smugglers.

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) declined to comment on the incident when contacted by Ynetnews based in Tel Aviv.

Sudan’s foreign ministry also declined to comment. Sudan’s army was not immediately available to comment.

A local MP by the name Mustafa Mandar had told SMC that the plane was following the vehicle until it came to an open area and sent bombs its way. He vehemently denied that Eastern Sudan has become a transit point for arms smuggling.

Some analysts speaking to Sudan Tribune speculated that this was an assassination plot against the two men who were in the car given its limited capacity to transport any significant amount of arms.

"We heard three loud explosions," a source at Port Sudan airport told Reuters. "We went outside to see what was happening and eye witnesses told us they saw two helicopters which looked liked Apaches flying past."

Two years ago it was disclosed that Israel carried out an unknown number of airstrikes in early 2009 in Eastern Sudan using fighter jets against a convoy of arms that was allegedly headed to the Gaza strip which is controlled by the Islamic militant group Hamas.

The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir and other officials in Khartoum at the time acknowledged that Israel was likely behind the air raids which state media reported to have killed 119 illegal immigrants who were trying to sneak into Europe.

The Jewish state has declined to confirm or deny the reports on its involvement but the then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the government is "operating in every area in which terrorist infrastructures can be struck".

Last month, the Egyptian media quoting army sources said that it had shelled a convoy of vehicles laden with arms near the Sudanese border. No further details were given and Khartoum has reportedly asked for clarifications from Cairo.

In recent says Sudan has denied media reports on smuggling of weapons through Sudan to reach Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Airstrike by unknown plane kills two in eastern Sudan

Sudan Tribune

April 5, 2011 (KHARTOUM) - Two people have been killed when their small car was destroyed on Tuesday evening by an unknown plane on the road from Port Sudan airport to town in eastern Sudan, a state official has told AFP.

"A plane bombed a small car which was coming from Port Sudan airport to the town... There were two people in the car and both were killed. The vehicle was completely destroyed," Mohammed Tahir said by telephone.

The official did not give details on the identity of the two dead people or the plane that conducted the airstrike.

According to Tahir, the unidentified plane, which struck at about 10:00 pm local time, flew in from the Red Sea, to which it then returned.

U.S and Israeli intelligence have in recent years stepped up efforts to prevent arms from reaching Gaza strip.

In January 2009 Israeli warplanes carried out an airstrike on a convoy believed to be smuggling arms to Hamas movement in a desert area near the Mount Al-Sha’anoon in Northwest of Port Sudan city in eastern Sudan. The attack left dozens killed.

'Foreign' air strike kills two in Sudan

Wed Apr 6, 2011 6:59AM

The Tuesday attack on a car by a "foreign" plane has left two people dead in Sudan.

A missile attack by a plane described as “foreign” has destroyed a car in eastern Sudan, killing its two passengers, local officials say.

The attack took place near the city of Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast on Tuesday.

Sudanese security forces have reportedly cordoned off the area now.

Ahmed Tahir, the Red Sea state parliament speaker, told Reuters that the unidentified aircraft had flown into Sudanese air space from the sea in order to bomb the car.

The army reportedly responded with missiles, but the foreign plane managed to evade, leaving Sudan's air space.

There was no immediate word on the identity of the two victims, and no-one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

The Sudanese government and military are yet to comment on the incident.

Tuesday's event resembles a January 2009 mystery attack on a convoy which was also hit by an unidentified aircraft in Sudan. A total of 119 people were killed in the strike, which was only disclosed two months after it occurred.

There was speculation at the time that the strike may have been carried out by Israel to stop weapons bound for Gaza.

However, Sudanese government sources have denied weapons transportations to Gaza, calling for a thorough investigation into the attack.

Israel has so far declined to comment on the issue.

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