Sudanese Rebels Claim they Killed 400 Govt. Troops
Sudanese rebels claimed on Tuesday they had defeated the government in three battles, killing 400 government troops on the southern front lines.
In a statement faxed to Reuters in Cairo, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) alleged that its forces won three battles on Tuesday in the west of Bahr al-Gazal province, 1,000 km (600 miles) southwest of Khartoum, repelling a government offensive.
It gave no death toll for its own fighters, said the agency, citing no government confirmation of the claim.
The rebels said in an earlier statement received on Tuesday that government forces had burned 14 villages in a failed raid earlier this week on rebel positions in the Nuba mountains.
That statement said the SPLA held off an attack on several fronts in South Kordofan state, 540 km (340 miles) southwest of Khartoum, over the last two days, capturing the government garrison of Umm Sardaba.
"The government forces burned 14 villages and more than 5,000 homes...in an attempt to evict the local residents with a scorched earth policy," it said.
There was no immediate comment from the government or confirmation from independent sources of either incident.
Earlier reports said that the US State Department has reached an agreement to supply $3 million in logistical support to a Sudanese opposition alliance that includes the main group fighting for autonomy in the African country's war-torn southern provinces, government sources familiar with the arrangement have told the Washington Post.
Under a contract with DynCorp, a Reston government and defense contractor, the Bush administration will provide funding for office space, equipment, radios, vehicles, staff and training in an effort to enhance the political effectiveness of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the sources said.
The goal, they said, would be to strengthen the alliance's position as it confronts Sudan's Islamic government, led by President Omar Hassan Al Bashir, a general who took power in a bloodless military coup in 1989.
The SPLA has been fighting since 1983 for autonomy in south Sudan from Islamist-dominated governments in the Muslim, Arabic-speaking north.
Bahr al-Gazal and South Kordofan state have often seen fighting in the civil war, which has cost up to two million lives and displaced four million people – Albawaba.com
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