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Sudan's army denies bombing in South Sudan


08:18, April 24, 2012

KHARTOUM, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese army denied on Monday that it had carried out any bombardment near a major city in South Sudan, noting that reports on air strikes by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) earlier Monday were "baseless."

This came in response to reports that the SAF air forces launched air strikes on areas near Bentiu, capital of Unity State in South Sudan, only three days after Juba announced that its was withdrawing troops from a strategic oil field on the north side of the border between the two countries.

"These accusations are baseless," spokesman of the SAF Al- Sawarmy Khalid Saad told Xinhua. "We do not accept any accusations on aerial bombardments on ground attacks in Unity State."

"Since we have liberated Heglig area, we have not advanced a single step into South Sudanese territories. We have never bombarded any areas in South Sudan and we have nothing to do with what is going on in Unity State," he added.

The Sudan Tribune website reported earlier that SAF warplanes carried out an intensive bombardment on Bentiu and neighboring Rubkotna. The attacks by Mig 29 fighters started at 8:50 a.m. ( 0550 GMT), the report said.

Other reports coming from South Sudan said that some three people, including a child, were killed in the bombing.

News of the bombing comes at the heels of the worst fighting between the two countries over the oil rich Heglig town which lies inside Sudan's South Kordofan state.

South Sudan took over the town from SAF almost two weeks ago before losing it to Khartoum last Friday.

Juba says it withdrew voluntarily upon orders from South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, while Khartoum insists that it managed to flush out Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), South Sudan's army.

On Sunday, SPLA deputy military intelligent director Maj. Paul Mac Bol said that another fresh attack by SAF took place inside South Sudan territory.

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