A drone attack on an open market south of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, has killed at least 40 people, activists and medical workers said, as the military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) battle for control of the country.
At least 70 others were injured in the attack in Khartoum’s Mayo neighbourhood on Sunday, according to resistance committees and two healthcare workers at the Bashair University Hospital, where the casualties were treated. Many of them will require amputations.
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The group posted footage on social media showing bodies wrapped in white sheets in an open yard at the hospital.
Reporting from Khartoum, Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan said the drone attack was carried out by the Sudanese army.
She said it is not clear whether all the victims were civilians, but “there is a dire need for medical assistance for those who have been injured”.
Indiscriminate shelling and air attacks by both factions have become common in Sudan’s war, which has reduced the greater Khartoum area to a battleground.
No end in sight
According to Morgan, there are still no talks between the RSF and the Sudanese army after nearly five months of conflict.
During one of his inspection tours to military camps around the country, Sudanese Army head General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said the army welcomes initiatives including the Jeddah Forum, but they will not allow “any unacceptable interference”.
“The initiatives are there … but when it comes to reality on the ground, there is no progress,” Morgan said, adding that, over the past two months, there had not been any ceasefires between the warring parties to give some respite to the people of Suda.
Sudan has been rocked by violence since mid-April, when tensions between the country’s military, led by al-Burhan, and the RSF, commanded by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, burst into open fighting.
The clashes have since spread to several parts of the country. In the greater Khartoum area, which includes the cities of Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North (Bahri), RSF troops have commandeered civilian homes and turned them into operational bases.
The military responded by bombing residential areas, rights groups and activists say.
In the western Darfur region – the scene of a genocidal campaign in the early 2000s – the conflict has morphed into ethnic violence, with the RSF and allied Arab militias attacking ethnic African groups, according to rights groups and the United Nations.
Based on August figures from the UN, the conflict has killed more than 4,000 people. However, the real toll is almost certainly much higher, doctors and activists say.
The number of internally displaced has nearly doubled since mid-April to reach at least 7.1 million people, according to the UN refugee agency. Another 1.1 million are refugees in neighbouring countries.