Army spokesperson Sawarmi Khaled Saad said over 700 fighters tried to attack the capital of Kadugli [Reuters]

Hundreds of SPLM-North fighters were killed in clashes with the Sudanese army in South Kordofan state, local governor Ahmed Haroun said.

"Several hundred members of the movement were killed this day in an assault on the city of Teludi that was repelled by the armed forces," the governor of South Kordofan, an oil-producing state and scene of frequent clashes, said on Monday.

An army spokesman, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, said "this morning more than 700 rebel fighters together with 12 officers tried to attack Teludi (east of the provincial capital Kadugli) to occupy it."

"The armed forces waited for the invaders to arrive on three fronts with equipment and on several vehicles, but in an hour the armed forces and popular defence forces beat back the attack, causing heavy losses," he said.

South Kordofan remained under Khartoum's northern administration when South Sudan became independent in July, but violent clashes since June have pitted Nuba rebels once allied to southern rebels against the Sudanese army.

It is located on the border between Sudan and the new state of South Sudan, run by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The clashes first erupted when the Khartoum government tried to disarm militiamen in the ethnically divided state, saying it would not tolerate the existence of two armies within its borders after the south separated.

Source: Agencies