Four suspected members of the ISIL (ISIS) group have been killed in a raid by security forces in the capital Khartoum, Sudan’s General Intelligence Service said.
The incident, that took place on Monday in the southern district of Jabra, also left one military officer dead, SUNA news agency reported citing a statement from the intelligence service.
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Three soldiers were also injured, while four members of the “terrorist cell” were arrested, the news agency added.
“The terrorist group fired heavy shots at our forces,” SUNA reported, adding that assault rifles rifles, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and grenades were used.
Witnesses in the Jabra neighbourhood told the Reuters news agency they saw security forces exchanging gunfire with a group inside a residential building and close the main road in the area.
SUNA also reported the arrest on Sunday of eight “foreign elements” in Khartoum’s Omdurman district.
Monday’s raid took place in the same district where, last Tuesday, five members of the General Intelligence Service were killed, while six others were injured as security forces went after “a cell linked to the Islamic States group”.
Eleven suspects of different nationalities were also arrested during that raid.
Armed group attacks have been rare in Sudan, which hosted al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden between 1992 and 1996.
Bin Laden was then expelled under pressure from the United States after Washington placed Sudan on its list of “state sponsors of terrorism”.
The US finally removed Sudan from its blacklist last December, after Sudan agreed to normalise ties with Israel.
The presence of armed group cells represents one of the challenges the country is facing as it is going through a rocky transition towards a civilian-led democratic government following the removal in 2019 of former President Omar al-Bashir.
Tensions between the military and civilian groups, which are engaged in a power-sharing agreement until the election in 2023, reached a low point last month following an attempted coup which officials blamed on soldiers loyal to the previous government.
After the failed power grab, civilian officials accused military leaders of overstepping their boundaries, while generals criticised civilian management of the economy and political process, saying that their forces were neglected and disrespected.