Sudan bombs Chadian border town

Sudanese government forces have bombed the Chadian side of the border town of Tine as they regained control of the Sudanese half of the city, sources have said.

    Tine is situated on the border between Sudan and Chad

    The bombing was the first incident on the Chadian side of the

    border since the Sudanese military started air attacks on positions of rebels

     

    who have been fighting Khartoum since

    February 2003.

    A source close to the Chadian army said 10 civilians were killed and 16 injured in the bombing at 0900 GMT on Thursday.

    However the regional coordinator for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Tine, Yvan Sturm, said two civilians were killed and 15 injured in the attack.

    The deaths came as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

    called for an independent commission of inquiry to assess reports of

    "systematic" human rights abuses in the region.

    'Critical condition'

    The UNHCR official said two of the wounded were in a

    critical condition and were receiving care from the humanitarian

    group Medecins Sans Frontieres.

    Around 100,000 people have fled
    the fighting to Chad

    A MSF official said their hospital had received 15 people

    wounded in the bombing.

    "Most of the injured we have received so far are women or

    children," said Sonia Peyrassol, MSF field coordinator in Tine.

    "Two

    of the heavily wounded are elderly. All are clearly civilians."

    Some of the bombs hit near the dry riverbed which marks the

    border, along which many refugees had been seeking shelter.

    The

    bombing caused panic among the refugees gathered in Tine and many

    fled further into Chad, away from the Sudanese border, said MSF.

    Rebellion 

    Rebels in Darfur launched the rebellion to protest against

    alleged government neglect of the semi-desert region in the west of

    the country.

    Clashes have intensified since peace talks in Chad

    collapsed on 16 December.

    The rebellion has cost 3000 lives while another 100,000

    people have been forced to flee into the east of Chad. Some 670,000

    have been displaced within Sudan itself.

    Sturm said the bombs dropped on Thursday hit the so-called Red

    Hill sector of Tine, where 1045 Sudanese refugees have been

    sheltering since fleeing the conflict in Darfur.

    Chadian military sources said late on Thursday that the Sudanese

    army took control of the Sudanese side of Tine from the rebel

    Movement for Justice and Equality in Sudan (MJE) during the

    afternoon.

    Darfur rebels say Khartoum is
    neglecting the region

    The Sudanese side of Tine is devoid of inhabitants, who fled to

    escape the regular bombardemnts from government forces.

    Human rights 

    Meanwhile, United Nations acting High Commissioner for Human

    Rights Bertrand Ramcharan said he was "deeply concerned" by the

    deteriorating human rights situation in Darfur.

    In a statement released in Geneva, he pointed to reports of

    "systematic human rights abuses against unarmed civilians", as well

    as the burning and looting of villages.

    Ramcharan called on both the government in Khartoum and the

    rebels to "agree on the establishment of an independent

    international commission of inquiry to assess the humanitarian and

    human rights situation in Darfur".

    He said he was also extremelely concerned by reports that

    pro-government militias like the Janjaweed have been "heavily

    involved" in the violence in the region.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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