From: Biniam Tekle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Mar 25 2009 - 07:29:07 EST
US staged deadly air strike against arm smugglers inside Sudan: Official
Wednesday 25 March 2009 05:00. Printer-Friendly version Comments...
March 24, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese government today acknowledged news
reports that US air force conducted airstrikes against arm smugglers last
January killing scores of people.
The Egyptian Al-Shurooq newspaper reported this week that US planes
destroyed a convoy heading towards the borders carrying arms believed to be
on its way to Gaza strip.
The report said that the convoy consisted of 17 trucks carrying 39
passengers that were all destroyed in the operation. None of the people on
board the trucks survived the attack.
The Sudanese state minister for highways Mabrouk Mubarak Saleem told
reporters at a press conference in the Eastern city of Kassala near Eritrea
that a “major power bombed small trucks carrying arms burring all of them”.
“It killed Sudanese, Eritreans and Ethiopians [passengers] and injured
others” Saleem said.
The attack is believed to have occurred in a desert area in Northwest of
Port Sudan city, near the Mount Al-Sha’anoon.
The newspaper quoted an unidentified Egyptian official as saying that the
planes that carried out the attack were based out of many regional
countries, suggesting that it is likely to be Djibouti.
The official said that the airstrike caused an “embarrassment” to Khartoum
which viewed it as a “violation to its sovereignty” and discussed the matter
with Cairo in an effort to gather more information to formulate a response.
Al-Shurooq also said that Sudanese authorities conducted “a full blown
dossier” on the attack containing images, forensics and remains of weapons
and satellite phones.
The rockets fired by US gunships left 18-hole diameters ranging between 160
and 430 meters, the newspaper reported.
Israeli officials in the past have said that arms are funneled into Sudan
and then to Sinai, where they pass through the tunnels into Gaza.
The US signed an agreement with Israel last January that calls for an
international effort to stem the flow of weaponry and explosives to
complement those of Egypt.
American and Israeli diplomats said at the time the agreement includes
intelligence coordination to prevent arms from Iran from entering Gaza,
maritime efforts to identify ships carrying weaponry, and the sharing of US
and European technologies to discover and prevent the use of
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