October 27, 2011 / 5:34 AM / 8 years ago

Sudan says army seized rebel camp in border state

Soldiers from Sudan's army rest after gaining control of the area, at the Blue Nile state capital al-Damazin, September 5, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan’s armed forces launched an attack on rebels in the country’s main oil state on Wednesday and seized a rebel military camp, an army spokesman told a state-linked news website.

Rebels from the SPLM-North said there had been fighting in the northern border state of South Kordofan but denied they had lost a camp.

The Sudanese army has been fighting SPLM-N rebels since June in South Kordofan, which borders newly independent South Sudan. Violence spread to the neighbouring state of Blue Nile last month.

The state-linked Sudanese Media Center (SMC) quoted army spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad as saying the army seized the SPLM-North camp, close to the northwestern town of Taludi, in an attack launched at dawn.

He said 15 rebels had been killed, while one soldier had been injured, the SMC said.

A spokesman for the SPLM-N confirmed it had been attacked but said its forces had repelled the army, killing 15 soldiers. “Our troops are still in the region,” he said.

Analysts say fighting in Blue Nile and South Kordofan risks drawing Khartoum’s former civil war foe South Sudan into a proxy war.

The Sudanese government has accused the south’s dominant Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of being behind the violence. The South denies this.

Events in Blue Nile and South Kordofan are hard to verify because aid agencies say they have no access to fighting areas and foreign journalists cannot travel there without permission.

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