Sudanese air force ‘bombs UN camp’
UN peacekeepers’ camp struck as South Sudan says several killed in air raids, but Sudan denies cross-border attacks.
The United Nations mission in South Sudan has confirmed that a UN peacekeepers’ camp was among targets bombed by Sudanese warplanes amid border clashes between the two countries’ armed forces.
Kouider Zerrouk, spokesman for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said on Monday that there had been no casualties in Sunday’s attack.
But a South Sudanese information minister said that seven civilians had been killed and 14 others wounded in an attack on Mayom, while the region of Bentiu was also bombed.
Gideon Gatpan, the minister, said that two bombs had fallen in the UN camp, destroying a generator and a radio.
Bombing raids on Sunday also killed nine civilians in South Sudan’s Unity border state, Gatpan said.
Al Jazeera’s Harriet Martin, reporting from Khartoum, said that “bombings have targeted sites like bridges by which people cross into Sudan from the South”.
“There has been consistent bombing by Sudan, but a military spokesman has denied that any bombing is taking place,” she said.
Martin said “it was impossible to know the exact situation in the conflict areas as both sides provide contradictory reports”.
Sudanese soldiers captured
Colonel Philip Aguer, South Sudan’s military spokesman, said on Monday that Sudanese attacks had also hit oil wells in the Sudanese border town of Heglig, which has been occupied by South Sudanese forces.
A spokesman for Sudan’s military denied that its forces were conducting bombing raids anywhere inside South Sudan.
He also confirmed to Al Jazeera the capture of a number of Sudanese soldiers who had been wounded in Heglig.
South Sudan said on Sunday that it had also captured at least 14 Sudanese soldiers.
Fighting has been raging for almost a week since South Sudan captured Heglig, which provided half of Sudan oil needs.
The African Union as well as the UN have condemned the South and asked it to withdraw its troops from Heglig.
Since then, production has stopped at the oilfields putting a severe strain on the Sudanese economy already reeling from the loss of oil revenues after South Sudan’s secession in July last year.