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22 Dead After Airstrike Rocks African Nation’s Capital

A major airstrike Saturday outside of Khartoum, Sudan, has left at least 22 people dead, according to the Associated Press.

Saturday’s air attack marks one of the deadliest airstrikes the country has seen in more than three months of a de facto civil war between two rival generals and their factions, according to the AP. Though unconfirmed, it is likely that the regular armed forces launched the attack against fighters for the paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), according to the AP.

The regular Sudanese forces have been engaged in open combat against the RSF since mid-April, according to the AP.

The Sudanese health ministry uploaded footage of the airstrike’s chaotic aftermath to social media Saturday, according to the AP. The footage shows multiple dead bodies strewn about the ground covered in sheets, with bystanders trying to remove other dead bodies from the rubble, according to the AP.

The footage also shows other bystanders attempting to assist the wounded, and people can be heard crying, according to the AP.

The fighting between the rival factions broke out some 18 months after the military overthrew the Western-backed transitional government in a coup in October 2021, according to the AP.

The RSF blamed the military for the airstrike, which hit the Dar es Salaam section of Omdurman, a city adjacent to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, according to the AP. That particular neighborhood has recently seen fierce fighting because it serves as a key supply thoroughfare for the RSF’s fighters, according to the AP.

“The area is like a hell… fighting around the clock and people are not able to leave,” one local resident said, according to the AP. The attack marks one of the deadliest single assaults of the conflict since it started, according to the AP.

The Sudanese health minister said last month that the conflict has resulted in at least 3,000 deaths, according to the AP. The violence has displaced 1.2 million Sudanese civilians as of early June, according to United Nations estimates.

Reports of rampant sexual violence perpetrated by RSF fighters have also emerged from the conflict zone, according to the AP. Other reports have indicated widespread looting and wanton destruction of property, according to the AP.

As the conflict broke out into open warfare in April 2023, the Biden administration left behind thousands of American citizens in Sudan after evacuating the country’s U.S. embassy.

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