KHARTOUM Nov 22 (Reuters) - Sudan's army said it captured a rebel-held town
and seized tanks and other military equipment in Blue Nile state on Tuesday,
another setback for insurgents in the volatile border region.
Fighting along the border has stoked tensions between Sudan and South Sudan,
which seceded in July, and complicated talks over political and economic
issues. Both countries say the other backs rebels on either side of the
poorly defined border.
Sudan's military said it had "liberated" Diem Mansour in Blue Nile, about 17
kilometres south of the former Sudan People's Liberation Movement North
(SPLM-N) stronghold of Kurmuk, which Sudanese forces seized this month.
"The armed forces expelled the remnants of the SPLM from the area of Diem
Mansour on Tuesday," Sudan's military spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid said in a
statement on state news agency SUNA.
A spokesman for the SPLM-N in Blue Nile had his mobile phone switched off.
Khalid said the armed forces killed and wounded a "large number" of rebels
and captured tanks and a variety of other weapons in a two-hour battle on
Tuesday. He said the military suffered casualties, but did not give details.
South Sudan declared independence in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended
decades of war between north and south. But the division left thousands of
fighters who sided with the south on Sudan's side of the border.
Rebels in the western Darfur region said this month they had formed an
alliance with the border state rebels to topple the government of President
Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum, a move the United Nations condemned as
"counterproductive". (Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz and Khalid Abdelaziz;
Editing by Louise Ireland)
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Received on Tue Nov 22 2011 - 18:59:18 EST