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Sudan conflict: At least 40 killed in airstrike on Khartoum market

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows smoke rises above buildings after an aerial bombardment, during clashes between Paramilitary Rapid Support Force and the regular army in Khartoum, Sudan. (Photo by Reuters)

 An airstrike has hit a crowded market in the south of Sudan’s capital Khartoum, killing at least 40 people and injuring dozens more, according to local activists.

“The number of victims of the Quoro market massacre” has risen to 40 by the afternoon, the local resistance committee said in a statement on Sunday, revising its previous toll of 30 killed.

The attack was one of the deadliest single attacks in the ongoing conflict in Sudan, which has been raging since mid-April after tensions heightened over a power struggle between army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who now commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The statement said the death toll was expected to rise, as casualties continued to pour into the nearby Bashair hospital.

The RSF blamed the military’s air force for Sunday’s attack, though it was not immediately possible to independently verify the claim.

“We only aim our attacks at the enemy’s groupings and stations in different areas,” Brig Gen Nabil Abdallah told Reuters.

The Sudanese army denied responsibility and blamed the RSF.

The hospital had made an “urgent appeal”, calling upon medical professionals in the vicinity to come and provide assistance in treating the injured people arriving.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 4 million people have been internally displaced as a result of the surge in violence, and another million have fled to neighboring countries.

Also last month, the UN warned that millions of people across Sudan are running out of food and are on the brink of famine as the situation in the war-torn Northeast African country is spiraling out of control.

Nearly 7,500 people have been killed in the war that erupted on April 15, according to a conservative estimate from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. Activists and doctors on the ground, however, say the death toll is likely far higher.

Accessibility to numerous areas has been severely restricted, and both sides of the conflict have not disclosed their losses. After nearly five months of fighting, neither faction has gained a decisive advantage.

The international community, including the UN, the Arab League as well as many countries in the world has already urged the country's two military leaders and their allies to stop the aggression and resolve their issues through dialog for the sake of the suffering Sudanese nation. Several ceasefire talks mediated by the US and Saudi Arabia have also failed to stop the violence.

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